Developing the Concept and Practice of Ongoing Outcome Measurement in Service Systems: Lessons and Guidelines from Relevant Literature

Outcome Measurement (OM) is the regular, systematic tracking of the extent to which program participants experience the benefits or changes intended by various social interventions. More broadly, OM provides an opportunity to assess the extent to which social interventions are making progress in meeting the goals of the organization. This document provides guidance that will be useful to both individual providers and to national entities launching OM systems.

This document draws best practice information on OM from numerous sources to:

  • Convey an understanding of Outcome Measurement and its potential uses, as well as the broad issues in designing an OM effort
  • Define the steps in an OM process and provide practical guidelines on how to implement each
  • Offer cross-cutting guidelines for implementing the OM process as a whole

The document also includes:

  • Case studies of specific international experience with outcome measurement that illustrate some of the problems and solutions encountered in an OM process. The case studies relate to both the level of national government and the level of specific provider organizations.
  • Practical implementation tools
  • An extensive annotated bibliography for further reading

This document was prepared as part of a joint project between the Institute and the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services to promote the implementation of outcome measurements in the social services.