Outcome Measurement Frameworks

Don't know where to start identifying outcomes for your grant programs?
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Coming up with a list of outcomes or an outcome framework can be a daunting task, especially when selecting metrics or indicators to go with those outcomes. To help out here are some examples of quality outcomes frameworks that can assist grantmakers to identify outcomes for their grant programs. More information for users of SmartyGrants is found in the Help Hub.

Cultural Development Network Outcomes Schema
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The Cultural Development Network (CDN) schema has been developed to facilitate the measurement of outcomes of cultural engagement, including arts participation, across the spectrum from ambient to creative and receptive participation. The measurable outcomes enable government and arts agencies to undertake outcome-focused planning and evaluate their progress in meeting desired outcomes. This schema enables the contributions of cultural engagement to be assessed using a systemised approach. This, in turn, enables organisations to understand how effective they are being in achieving their objectives, thus contributing to evidence-based practice, which is increasingly required by funders and decision-makers.

More information including the full framework can be found on the Cultural Development Network website. A SmartyGrants version of this framework is available in the HelpHub.

The Community Services Outcome Tree
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The Community Services Outcomes Tree (CSOT) has been developed by the Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne University of Technology, in partnership with Uniting Vic Tas.

The CSOT is designed to help community sector organisations measure the effect they are having on individuals’ lives.

The framework encourages a ‘whole of life’ approach and recognises the way in which life domains interrelate. For example, while your organisation may focus on education it would be worthwhile to consider the impact of your work in other areas of a person’s life such as employment, health, finances etc.

The CSOT is designed for the community sector. This includes community service organisations, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises. The framework can also be used by funders of community services such as governments and philanthropics.

More information including the full framework and how it was developed can be found on the Community Services Outcome Tree website.

The Nest by Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY)
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The Nest is Australia’s wellbeing framework for children and young people aged 0 to 24 years, developed by ARACY – Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth. The Nest is an evidence-based, holistic framework that considers all aspects of a child’s wellbeing in the context of their daily life.

The Nest conceptualises wellbeing as six interconnected and interdependent domains that support each other to help children thrive and reach their full potential. To have optimal wellbeing, a child or young person needs to be adequately resourced in all six domains. The domains are:

  • Valued, Loved and Safe
  • Material Basics
  • Healthy
  • Learning
  • Participating
  • Having a Positive Sense of Identity and Culture

Population level measures using available datasets are mapped to the domains of the Nest in the Australian Children’s Wellbeing Index, jointly developed by ARACY and UNICEF Australia, and historically in The Nest Report Card.

The Nest forms the basis of The Common ApproachTM, ARACY’s best practice approach to better conversations about wellbeing with children and families. The Common ApproachTM and the Nest can support the development of individual and service level outcomes for child and family wellbeing.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was ratified in September 2015 by 193 United Nations member states. It builds on the work of the Millennium Development Goals, which were in effect from 2000 – 2015.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is built around 17 diverse, yet interdependent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ranging from ending poverty, and hunger, improving health and wellbeing, to sustainable economic growth and protecting the environment. “They [The SDGs] recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.”

Achievement of the SDGs by 2030 will require cooperation of governments, civil society, the private sector (as emphasised by Goal 17 – Partnerships for the goals). Many grantmaking and grantee organisations are aligning their work to the SDGs.

The SDGs are composed of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (Domains), 169 targets (outcomes) and 232 indicators (metrics).

National Disaster Recovery Monitoring and Evaluation database
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The National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (COAG 2011) highlighted the increasing incidence and cost of disasters in Australia. To better deal with the increasing incidence of disasters, the national strategy affirms a cooperative response that emphasises shared responsibility and empowering communities.

To address this, the Australian Government, in partnership with state and territory governments, the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) developed the National Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Disaster Recovery Programs and the National Disaster Recovery Monitoring and Evaluation Database.

The National Disaster Recovery Monitoring and Evaluation Database (the ‘Database’) contains 61 nationally agreed outcomes and 369 indicators (metrics) across five domains.

The Database is intended to assist those designing disaster recovery program to learn from past practice and facilitate a nationally consistent approach to the design and evaluation of disaster recovery programs.

In addition to the ability to search outcomes and indicators, the online database also allows grantmakers to search the types of activities that have previously been linked to outcomes and view evaluation reports from previous disaster recovery programs.

The Australian Institute of Disaster Resilience recommends that the database be used in conjunction with the National Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Disaster Recovery Programs.

Shared Outcome Framework for the Housing and Homelessness Sector
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The Shared Outcome Framework for the Housing and Homelessness Sector was developed in 2017 as a collaboration between the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) in collaboration with Homelessness Sector Development (a partnership between Homelessness NSW, Domestic Violence NSW and Yfoundations).

The objective of the project was to “…foster the development of a shared language and understanding of outcomes and indicators across the sector.” and “…give service providers access to information they can use in tracking and evaluating their impact on people’s lives.”

For further information about this framework, including the Information on how the framework was developed, the data dictionary, and the data collection guide – visit the Homelessness NSW website.

Goodtown Council Outcomes Framework
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The Goodtown Council Outcomes framework was developed by the SmartyGrants team as a good practice example of an outcomes framework for a typical small local government grantmaker.

It tracks progress towards outcomes across 5 domains common to local government grantmakers: Arts and Culture, Community Development, Economic Development, Health and Wellbeing, and Environment.

You can download a copy of the Goodtown Council Outcomes Framework in the Help Hub.

For more information about these frameworks and examples of how they have been adapted into the SmartyGrants Outcome Engine template please go to the Help Hub.

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