Outcomes often fall along a continuum from shorter- to longer-term results. This is usually broken into three stages: short, medium, and long term. As you will see later, there actually can be any number of intermediate outcomes between the initial and ultimate outcomes.
In this course we will use the terms “short-term,” “medium-term,” and “long-term,” but other terms may also be used.
|Short-Term Outcome||Medium-Term Outcome||Long-Term Outcome|
Example: Academic improvement program
An academic improvement program that includes school-home relations, mentoring, and homework help has the following sequence of outcomes depicting the program theory.
A nutritional program for the elderly also has a sequence of possible outcomes.
In addition to the outcomes shown here, additional outcomes could be added to the right. A lower incidence of foodborne illnesses could lead to lower health costs and to a higher quality of life.
The continuum is called a “chain of outcomes” (United Way of America, 1996), an “outcome line” (Mohr, 1995), the “outcome sequence chart” (Hatry, 1999), or “outcome hierarchy” (Funnell, 2000). This concept — a series of outcomes that are connected — is fundamental to a logic model. We’ll cover this more in Section 3.