Sheila Robinson has an interesting post which she titled “Outputs are for programs. Outcomes are for people.”  Sounds like a logic model to me.

Evaluating something (a strategic plan, an administrative model, a range management program) can be problematic. Especially if all you do is count. So “Do you want to count?” OR “Do you want to determine what difference you made?” I think it all relates to outputs and outcomes.


Logic model


The model below explains the difference between outputs and outcomes.

.logicmodel (I tried to find a link on the University of Wisconsin website and UNFORTUNATELY it is no longer there…go figure. Thanks to Sheila, I found this link which talks about outputs and outcomes) I think this model makes clear the  difference between Outputs (activities and participation) and Outcomes-Impact (learning, behavior, and conditions).

You can count the outputs: the “what we do” column and the “who we reach” column. They can be compared (if that is what you want to do–this year against last year, for example), but they are still counts–How many. Now to be fair, many of the learning outcomes as well as the behavior outcomes can be counted as well. You can even count the number of conditions, although that is often harder. What I want to advocate here is that there are other ways to find out if you made a difference besides counting. The statistics used to determine if you have made a difference will be different if you just count. And you can talk to the participants! How hard is talking?

Think about making a difference. Counting the number of workshops you conducted will not answer that question. Determining the difference in what people (participants) know before they came into the workshop and after completing the workshop may (depending on how long the workshop is). The length of the workshop gets into methodology and that is not what we are talking about today.

Today, we are really talking about making a difference and measuring that. make a difference

Sheila says it best: Outputs ≠ Outcomes

my two cents .




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