Publication Date

11-2008

Abstract

{Excerpt} Development is about people—it is about how they relate to one another and their environment, and how they learn in doing so. Outcome mapping puts people and learning first and accepts unexpected change as a source of innovation. It shifts the focus from changes in state, viz. reduced poverty, to changes in behaviors, relationships, actions, and activities.

Development agencies must show that their activities make significant and lasting contributions to the welfare of intended beneficiaries. But they may well be trying to measure results that are beyond their reach: the impacts they cite as evidence are often the result of a confluence of events for which they cannot realistically get full credit.

Outcome mapping exposes myths about measuring impacts and helps to answer such questions. A project or program that uses the framework and vocabulary of outcome mapping does not claim the achievement of development impacts, nor does it belittle the importance of changes in state. Rather, it focuses on its contributions to outcomes (that may in turn enhance the possibility of development impacts—the relationship is not inevitably a direct one of cause and effect.) More positively, because outcome mapping limits its concerns to those results that fall strictly within a project or program’s sphere of influence, development agencies can become more specific about the actors they target, the changes they expect to see, and the strategies they employ.

Comments

Suggested Citation

Serrat, O. (2010). Outcome mapping. Washington, DC: Asian Development Bank.

Required Publisher's Statement

This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (www.adb.org)

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