Plan Step two Knowledge

What do We Mean by Attributes and Assumptions?


Attributes refers to the features of an outcome. It basically unpacks the meaning contained in the key terms included in the outcome.  For example for the outcome: ‘Improve the sense of belonging of vulnerable children’, the key term, 'a sense of belonging' might be defined as: ‘the child have friends’; ‘the child attends school’; ‘the child participates in community sport/other recreational activities’; ‘the child has a close relationship to his/her caregiver’; etc.  In the same way we could describe the attributes of the key term ‘vulnerable’: A programme might adopt a working definition where vulnerable is defined as being a maternal orphan. The key term 'children' might be defined as 0-14 year olds by a particular programme. 


Programmes are based on certain expectations about factors that can affect the achievement of its outcomes. Some of these factors are generic and hardly need mention (for example, high quality management of the project). Some are unique to the programme and range from critical pre-conditions for success to circumstances that could limit the ability of the programme to achieve its outcomes. Some of them will be within the control of the programme (to a certain extent) and some not. Either way, these assumptions are important to consider when evaluating a programme.


Outcome: Peer educators can effectively communicate information around the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Outcome: Unemployed youth who went through a skills training course are placed in employment