Introduction to outcomes

If you manage a community service organisation in Queensland, your first encounter with outcomes may be when negotiating your next service agreement.  This might lead you to think outcomes are only about reporting back to your funding body.

Outcomes for clients and their family are the reason we deliver services!  They are also the way we show accountability to our clients, staff and government for the funding we receive.

A useful definition from Robert Penna (2014) is

An outcome is the direct, intended beneficial effect on the stakeholders or interests our work exists to serve.  Outcomes may be hard or soft but all require measurement using appropriate tools and processes.

From a funding body perspective, outcomes are a statement of what they are buying from your service and they will form part of your contract. 

From an organisational perspective, outcomes are a statement of what your service offers.  They specify what you deliver, to whom, over what time and place, to what standard.  They should be definable, measurable and easily understood by both funding body and client.

From a client or family perspective, outcomes should directly match the goals you have indicated you need assistance with.

Outcomes Working Group A successful Outcomes Working Group meeting was held on the last Friday of January 2015, co-facilitated by Valmae Rose from QCOSS and Judith Rowell from the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services. QCOSS is excited to be leading the work on behalf of...
The Community Services Industry Alliance and the Queensland Council of Social Service have identified the importance of the area of outcomes and outcomes measurement as a key foundational for the community services industry. To this end they have commissioned acclaimed outcomes consultant Robert...
A study conducted by Forrester Research showed that website redesign projects achieve a high positive return on investment (ROI) when analysed via a multi-year cost-benefit basis. By developing an ROI analysis for a website redesign, a company will ensure that the objectives from the redesign are...
There can be additional benefits from a social return on investment (SROI) analysis if it is approached in the right way. SROI is about more than just demonstrating impact. And while it is primarily done for this reason – and to articulate and document the impact – many organisations gain other...
The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services has developed a series of resources for leading social services staff, and those in related disciplines, to practice in an outcomes-focused way. Leading for Outcomes is a series of guides that provide support and training materials to...


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