Outcome Mapping Approaches

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Date Published:
August 25, 2015
Contribution:
USAID Contribution

Outcome mapping is a methodology for planning, monitoring and evaluating development initiatives in order to bring about sustainable social change. As the name suggests, its niche is understanding outcomes; the so-called ‘missing-middle’ or ‘black box’ of results that emerge downstream from the initiative’s activities but upstream from longer-term economic, environmental, political or demographic changes.

At the planning stage, the process of outcome mapping helps a project team or program be specific about the actors it intends to target, the changes it hopes to see and the strategies appropriate to achieve these. For ongoing monitoring, OM provides a set of tools to design and gather information on the results of the change process, measured in terms of the changes in behavior, actions or relationships that can be influenced by the team or program.

As an evaluation approach, OM unpacks an initiative’s theory of change, provides a framework to collect data on immediate, basic changes that lead to longer, more transformative change, and allows for the plausible assessment of the initiative’s contribution to results.

The steps to and uses of outcome mapping are available at Better Evaluation.

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