Phase 1 - Define

1.3 Define your programme outcomes

Before you can identify potential commissioners and begin conversations with them about their appetite to fund particular outcomes, it is important to be clear which outcomes the programme delivers, and which of these matters most to your organisation.

Even if you are not starting with a full logic model, mapping out a successful participant journey through the programme from scratch can help draw out outcomes by stage:

Short-term outcomes are incremental changes that successful participants achieve during their day-to-day programme participation, that can be thought of as checkpoints on the path to achieving intermediate outcomes. For example:

  • New attitude gained (e.g. improved academic self-efficacy)

  • New skills acquired (e.g. improved time-keeping)

  • New behaviour manifested (e.g. school attendance improved)

  • Improved achievement (e.g. weekly test scores)

Intermediate outcomes are critical changes that successful participants achieve at key points during the programme, indicating a high likelihood that the participant will achieve the long-term outcome. For example:

  • Gaining a complete set of defined soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace

  • Achieving certain sub-levels of the National Curriculum Key Stages

  • Predicted GCSE pass in English and/or Maths

  • Entry to paid employment

Long-term outcomes are the results of programme participation that serve as the ultimate demonstration of the programme’s value to society, manifested after the end of the programme.  For example:

  • Six months post-completion, entering higher education

  • One year post-completion, obtaining a full Level 2 qualification

  • One year post-completion, having been in full-time paid employment for at least six months

See Section 1.4 for considerations when negotiating mutually meaningful outcomes within a SIB.

Further resources

  • The LOUD SIB model, Policy Innovation Research Unit and ECORYS: four factors that seem to determine whether a SIB is launched (Collective Leadership, clear Outcomes, shared Understanding and Data).
Next: 1.4 Cultivate potential payers for your outcomes