Why outcome measurement and program evaluation matter
It is now becoming imperative for service providers (be they Government or non-Government) to be able to accurately identify and demonstrate the outcomes and achievements achieved through the delivery of particular programs and services.
The importance of outcomes measurement has been steadily increasing in the human services sectors, with it now becoming imperative for service providers (be they Government or non-Government) to be able to accurately identify and demonstrate the outcomes and achievements achieved through the delivery of particular programs and services.
At an individual program user level, these outcomes need to be both visible and measurable in order to ensure individual support goals are achieved, but beyond this, monitoring outcomes can also facilitate collaboration and networking with other organisations to achieve an individual’s outcomes which may not be able to be met through involvement with one particular service or program.
At a program level, contemporary best practice program design requires that each program be underpinned by a sound Outcomes Measurement Framework identifying key performance indicators, tools and metrics, against which the collection of outcomes data will eventually:
justify the funding provided for service delivery,
secure further funding for continuation and/or expansion of service delivery (potentially),
support the receipt of contracted outcomes-based performance payments and
for NGOs, give a strategically competitive place in the market.
All of the information collected and collated through outcomes measurement and monitoring practices can also help to inform any future program evaluation which might take place, most commonly at the request of the funder rather than service provider.
Where outcomes measurement provides insight into either the client level or aggregated client outcome perspective, whilst not always budgeted for in the program design phase, program evaluation is equally as valuable. The process provides a much richer and deeper understanding of the appropriateness and effectiveness of the model implemented for a particular cohort, how that program functions within the broader service system and how cost effective that model is in the context of what is achieved for how much is expended. This deeper understanding is obtained from the breadth of stakeholders which are involved in the evaluation process, and from the ability for those stakeholders (including consumers) to provide direct feedback around what is and is not working for consumers, and make recommendations to improve the potential impact of the model. Evaluation is important as it provides an independent and unbiased view of a program from a body outside of the direct service delivery system, as evaluation is rarely undertaken by the service provider.
Whether you require support in designing a framework and associated tools and processes to measure and monitor direct program or consumer outcomes, or a full-scale evaluation of a particular model or program, Health Q consulting can assist.
Health Q Consulting