Academic references to outcomes theory
How to use these principles.These principles are used to identify problems within outcomes systems, including the absence of key outcomes system building-blocks and key trade-offs which have to be made in setting up outcomes systems.
Outcomes theory principles.
Only some initial principles on this site so far.There are a large number of outcomes theory principles. Some have been put up below, others are being progressively added. To be notified when they are put up, subscribe to the DoView School of Outcomes Tips newsletter.
In real-world programs, one mean may contribute to more than one end (i.e. one project may contribute to more than one outcome.Therefore means should not be siloed under ends. more
Using just a 'single list' of indicators for program/organizational accountability is a mistake. Controllable indicators needs to be clearly distinguished from not-necessarily controllable indicators to avoid confusion in such lists. more
To make a fair comparison between the outcomes of different units or parties, they either need to be working with a similar level of input, or their raw outputs needs to be adjusted for any differences in input. more
Where indicator results can be distorted by units or parties, the more they are used to determine the level of incentives that will be provided, the less accurate they will be. more
There is a trade-off between attribution and accountability versus encouraging collaboration between units or parties. In general, the more collaboration that is being sought, the less one will be able to attribute high-level outcomes to a single unit or party and to hold them to account for high-level outcomes. more
Final outcomes can take time to occur. Where accountability is determined within periods shorter than the lenght of time it takes for an outcome to occur, units or parties should not be held accountable for high-level outcomes. more
Programs consist of things that are done (e.g. activities and outputs) and higher-level outcomes that are being sought. It is essential that programs show all levels of their outcomes model, including the boxes linking activities and outputs with higher-level outcomes. They should not just show the lower and higher levels and presume that stakeholders or others will be able to fill in the gap. more