Israel's Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA), with the assistance of the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute (MJB), has been advancing measures to establish and routinize outcome thinking (OT) in all ministry units and auxiliaries. The procedure consists of developing supportive infrastructures and tools, including computerized data-management systems. At the level of fieldworkers, the systems help construct data-collection procedures, outcome-oriented planning and intervention, follow-up of the implementation of interventions and of the extent of achievement of pre-defined results. At the managerial and head-office levels, they may help pool and present data in such a way as to reveal a full picture and implement policy driven by reliable, up-to-date data from the field.
To develop and sustain a pilot of systems of intervention planning (IP) and follow-up for the Service for Youth marks a pioneering effort designed as a test case for learning and gaining experience . As part of the pilot, staff of the Unit for Outcome Measurement at the Center for Quality-Promotion Systems at MJB have been developing a dummy system for outcome thinking (OT), an archetype of OT-supported, data-management systems. The development process included ongoing dialogue with the service accompanied by a pilot and the examination of staff reactions to their trial use of the system. This report summarizes the first stage of the pilot.
Insights and Programmatic Directions
A computerized model of intervention planning and outcome measurement is feasible.
The system provides a response to both fieldworkers and the needs of the head office.
The technological infrastructure should be improved, and a specific system developed with better-adapted, more convenient infrastructure based on the insights presented in the report.
Suitable organizational infrastructure should be created: enlisting the support of department managers, developing ways to integrate the system into the ongoing work, allocating sufficient time and so forth.
The praxis of involving clients in planning and intervention should be developed further.
Alongside any future development of the system, it is important to develop OT training provisions.
Service staff should be involved as much as possible in trial use of the system and contribute to its development.
Products of Stage I
a. Staff feedback on the principles of OT and their trial use of the support system
b. Demonstration of the pooling of data on the clients of the service according to the components of the logic model, as a basis for formulating policy
c. Demonstration of the concentration of data for the professional working with clients.
The products were presented to service administrators. Currently, Stage II of the pilot is under way, examining staff experience with outcome measurement.