ESS has always promoted an outcomes approach when it comes to self-evaluation because outcomes are about the difference that your organisation makes.
But we also understand that the outcomes approach can sometimes be tricky! Over many years we’ve developed loads of resources and held events on various outcomes topics – from defining outcomes, to setting outcomes, and mapping outcomes – just to name a few.
On this page we signpost to some of our work to support you in using the outcomes approach to evaluation. We aim to keep updating this page.
Were we wrong to talk about outcomes? What else is there to talk about?
This report gives a brief summary of our discussions in our ‘Were we wrong to talk about outcomes?’ event in February 2021, and sets out some suggested next steps.
Understanding different outcomes – personal, organisational, strategic
Outcomes everywhere but which are mine? – webinar
This webinar will give you lots of ideas about how to make sense of different levels of outcomes and how to map them on to each other.
Other resources on mapping various outcomes
Befriending outcomes (Extract from The Source to the sea)
This extract from The Source to the Sea gives examples of outcomes for befriendees, volunteer befrienders, local communities, amenities and businesses, and those commissioning befriending services.
Mapping advice outcomes to national outcomes (Extract from measuring Outcomes Citizens Advice)
This extract from Measuring Outcomes Citizens Advice gives examples of how advice outcomes can be mapped to National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes. Indicators for Measuring Citizens Advice can be found
Threading the Needle – Learning point: We need to build the focus on outcomes
Using third sector evidence to commission outcomes for health and social care – We need to build the focus on outcomes shares what ESS has found out about current practice
Third Sector Interface Outcome Framework
ESS was commissioned by Scottish Government to facilitate the development of an outcomes framework for third sector interfaces for the work that Scottish Government directly fund through the Third Sector Division.
For general support in setting outcomes
ESS Support Guides
ESS Support Guide 1a Setting outcomes
This guide helps you work out what your outcomes are and how to write them.
ESS Support Guide 1b Working out what to measure (Setting indicators for your outcomes)
This guide explains ways to develop and use indicators to help you measure your outcomes.
‘Evaluation Explained’ videos
What is an outcome?
Training Officer Shona Wells explains what outcomes are in one minute!
How to write an outcome
Shona Wells, ESS Training Officer, talks you through writing an outcome in one minute!
What is an indicator?
Grace Robertson, Training Officer at Evaluation Support Scotland explains indicators in less than one minute!
Working out what to measure: Setting indicators
Training Officer Grace Robertson talks through what to measure and setting indicators for evaluation in less than one minute!
Setting Outcomes Case Study: We’re all on the same page now! (Music 4 U)
This case study is about how a range of evaluation support helped Music 4 U get to grips with evaluation.
Setting Outcomes Case Study: Taking a team approach to develop a theory of change (The Ecology Centre)
This case study from The Ecology Centre is about how working as a team can help develop good evaluation practice .
Setting Outcomes Case Study: Measuring the impact of a remote service (Pain Concern Helpline)
This case study is about the steps Pain Concern took in order to capture the difference their telephone helpline makes for people living in chronic pain.