How to Write Outcome Statements
Outcomes provide a clear vision of what has changed or will change globally or in a particular region, country or community within a period of time. They normally relate to changes in institutional performance or behaviour among individuals or groups. Outcomes cannot normally be achieved by only one agency and are not under the direct control of a project manager.
Since outcomes occupy the middle ground between outputs and impact, it is possible to define outcomes with differing levels of ambition. For this reason, some documents may refer to immediate, intermediate and longer term outcomes, or short-,medium- and long-term outcomes.
An outcome statement should ideally use a verb expressed in the past tense, such as ‘improved’, ‘strengthened’ or ‘increased’, in relation to a global, regional, national or local process or institution.
An outcome should not be stated as “the organisation's support provided to Y” or “technical advice provided in support of Z,” but should specify the result of the organisation's efforts and that of other stakeholders for a community.
An outcome should be measurable using indicators. It is important that the formulation of the outcome statement takes into account the need to measure progress in relation to the outcome and to verify when it has been achieved. The outcome should therefore be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time- bound (SMART).
An outcome statement should ideally communicate a change in institutional or individual behaviour or quality of life for people—however modest that change may be.
Examples of properly formulated outcome statements are:
Policy, legal and regulatory framework reformed to substantially expand connectivity to information and communication technologies (short to medium term)
Increased access of the poor to financial products and services in rural communities (medium to long term)
Reduction in the level of domestic violence against women in five provinces by 2014 (medium to long term)
Increased volume of regional and subregional trade by 2015 (medium to long term)
UNDP (2009). Handbook on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluating for Development Results