Tool: Ways to Develop an Outcomes Chain

Tool: Ways to Develop an Outcomes Chain

Listing and ordering outcomes

Working up: strategy to Impact

Working down: impact to immediate outcomes

Source: Purposeful Program Theory: Funnell & Rogers, 2011 Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation Source: ActKnowledge
  1. Prepare a list of possible outcomes (of activities). For the outcomes chain do not list the actual activities and processes.
  2. Cluster the outcomes and give a working label to each cluster of outcomes
  3. Arrange the working labels into 1 or more chains of ‘if then’ statements. For example, 'if this happens then this will happen…'.
  4. Connect labels with arrows and identify any feedback loops
  5. Verify with different stakeholders and role-players
  1. Start by briefly describing your programme strategy
  2. Next, identify the immediate outcomes to be achieved through the strategy by saying ‘so that...'.
  3. Continue with the ‘so that’ chain to identify subsequent outcomes, working from immediate outcomes to ultimate outcomes (impact).
  4. Remember to list the outcomes to be achieved through the activities – not the activities themselves.
  5. Connect with arrows and identify any feedback loops
  6. Verify with different stakeholders and role-players
  1. Identify a clear long term outcome (impact) to be achieved
  2. Then start to design a simple map of the preconditions required to bring about the long-term outcome. Thus you are asking: For this to happen what needs to happen first/or what needs to be in place for x to happen?
  3. Remember to list the outcomes to be achieved through activities – not the activities themselves.
  4. Connect with arrows and identify any feedback loops
  5. Verify with different stakeholders and role-players