measuring outcomes

Macro social workers are becoming increasingly responsible for showing that their community or organizational change efforts have evidence of progress towards meeting goals. Community or organizational change outcomes vary widely depending on the nature of the intervention and on buy-in from the community or organization. These change efforts are sometimes limited by economic and human resources and other factors. Although measuring outcomes is complex, macro social workers must be conscious of outcomes and whether the community or organization’s needs are being met. In this activity, you will discuss the importance of outcomes and their implications for effective macro social work practice.

Upon successful completion of this discussion, you will be able to:

  • Develop knowledge of social work and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate communities and organizations. (PO 6, 7, 8, & 9)

Resources

  • Book: Chapter 3: Evaluating Organizational Impact and Outcome Measurement

Background Information

According to “Chapter 3: Evaluating Organizational Impact and Outcome Measurement” outcomes should be distinguished from outputs. Outputs refer to the volume of work produced by the community or organizational change effort. One example of an output is the number of clients served. Outcomes, on the other hand, refer to the long-term expected, and sustained benefits the community experiences during or after the intervention. Outcomes are concerned with results. They may be the result of cumulative efforts among many stakeholders. Regular monitoring of the results of the intervention can help social workers identify whether the agreed-upon outcomes are being met and whether those outcomes will be sustained over time. Engaging the community or organization in a range of short-, medium-, and long-term outcomes help them recognize that these desired outcomes are open for revision and may need to change over time.


Instructions

  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. Finish “Chapter 3: Demystifying Outcome Measurement in Community Development” by reading pages 32-50. Also review pages 27-28 to complete the reading for this assignment.
    1. Please note: If you are not already logged in to the IWU OCLS, you will be promoted to enter your Log-in and Password.
    2. It may take a few minutes for this link to load. Please be patient. You may need to scroll down a few pages to reach the beginning of the chapter after it loads.
  3. Navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to the following questions. Your initial post should be 200 to 300 words long.
    1. Why are social workers concerned about organization and community intervention outcomes?
    2. In what ways can social workers measure success in communities and organizations?
    3. How can social workers ensure that the voices of organizations and community stakeholders are heard?

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