Language:  English  Français  Español 

Outcome Mapping Practitioner Guide

Check list for Outcome Challenges

A checklist for Outcome Challenges (called Outcome Visions) that is used with the AcT Tanzania programme

Author: Kate Dyer

Published: Sunday 21 September 2014

Checklist for Outcome Visions

In what follows, examples have been taken from early drafts of work with some AcT partners.  We’ve kept these anonymous, but even if you do recognise another partner organisation or yourself, we hope you will agree that it’s ‘easier to proceed from error than a blank sheet of paper’,  and its what goes into the final draft that counts!  

1. Have you bundled stakeholders together that might be better kept separate?  There is a lot of sense in putting some stakeholders together if they have similar interests, attitudes and behaviours (for example, at local level the District Executive Director, the District Planning Officer and the District Treasurer).  However, don’t fall into the trap of lumping people together that don’t really fit – for example, local and central government officials often have significantly different perspectives; elected representatives (councillors, MPs and so on) have a different constitutional role to appointed officials and civil servants.

2. Does the statement capture real transformation, or is it really more like target setting for what might be achieved in the medium term given appropriate capacity building support?


Positive Example (from final draft)

Something to avoid  (points from earlier draft)

Government officials at all levels prioritise maternal and child health in their plans and ensure allocation and disbursement of resources for it, ensuring high quality infrastructure such as health facilities, supply of drugs and equipment , more trained workers, motivated to enjoy and stay in their jobs etc.  All relevant workers know their roles and responsibilities and can be held accountable for any slippages.

Government officials are accountable for the facilities below them and ensure these are efficiently and equitably distributed throughout the country. With Result oriented plans for health sector development in the regions. Officials with information readily available and a willingness to share such information with other stakeholders.

  • Acknowledge the importance of…
  • Adequate …
  • Minimum standards applied…
  • Provide information on request

 Try to avoid terms like improved, adequate, sufficient – these are more appropriate for setting targets in conventional results based management approaches, when what we are trying to capture here is what real change would look like.

3. Is the statement specific?  It will help to have more than just generalities about holding to account or being more responsive.  What exactly are you looking for in terms of attitude change, and how will this show itself in what that boundary partner does differently?  Again, avoid terms like ‘improved’, ‘increased’ because they can lead to just general statements of what would be better.  

4. Is the length appropriate? You need to provide some specific detail, as what is in the challenge will fold out into your progress markers

In the following example, what is provided is a bit short, not least because there is some repetition of raising issues facing young people and prioritising and publicising…  It would benefit from being more specific, as how a newspaper would hold a policy maker to account would be different to how a TV chat show would do it.  Also there are very different kinds of policy makers – politicians and civil servants.  In other words ‘holding policy makers to account’ is a bit general catch-all phrase which needs to be further unpacked.

‘Media (print, radio, TV, online forms) in Tanzania are raising the issues facing young people directly with policymakers, holding them to account for delivering on the implementation of agreed plans, regularly airing the views of young people and prioritising and publicising issues relating to young people in Tanzania.

On the other hand, there’s no need to write an essay  6-8 lines is a usually a good length.  


This nugget was applied in: Accountability Tanzania (Act)

Related Practitioner Guide sections:

Latin America & Carribean Sub-Saharan Africa North Africa & Middle East South Asia South East Asia & Pacific Far-East Asia Eastern Europe & CIS (ex USSR) Western Europe North America & Canada Australasia