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The significance of outcomes in Outcome Harvesting

Julius Nyangaga

Summary: A complete outcome statement is composed of three factors: the observed change, its significance, and the intervening project’s contribution. A consensus on the source of data (or evidence) for these results is important. However, ‘significance’ is a value judgment and, unless guided by a basis on what it should be made, can be subjective, depending on who is asking, who is responding, and what they value at that time of the evaluation. This paper is a brief review of what is meant by significance in outcome harvesting (OH) guidebooks, how it has been used in case reports, and how it can be made more instructive and less subjective.

A guide for describing an outcome’s significance should be prepared (beforehand, during the inception dialogues) to guide data collection and analysis. This paper shows why and how it can be based on the evaluation uses, OECD criteria, the project’s objectives, theory of change, outcome types or emerging themes and progress markers, the magnitude or intensity of change, and/or the project’s comparative contribution to the transformation

A recommendation for the structure of outcome harvesting statements or databases is to use ‘Who changed how’ + ‘Project contribution’ + ‘Significance of the change’. Data from agreed significance fields can then be extracted for analyses that serve the evaluation or harvest objectives.

Type: How To Guides

Theme: OM Resources: Training Materials

Contibuted by: Julius Nyangaga, on: 15 Nov 2021

Downloads: 13

Download resource (pdf 821 KB)

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