Outcomes at Different Levels
We fund activities that work at one or more of the different levels indicated in the diagram below. We believe that this funding will have a collective impact that will lead to transformative and sustainable change across many levels.
Outcomes are the difference or changes you aim make through your services or activities. These outcomes can be set at different levels: individual, family, community, organisational, and societal. For the activities we fund it is likely that most outcomes will be set at individual, family, and community levels.
For example we will fund activity to directly improve the well-being of individual beneficiaries. We will also fund activity that supports the development of family or community capacity to support our beneficiary groups. We anticipate, though our theory of change, that these activities will influence wider service and society attitudes and responses to our beneficiary groups.
Change at service and societal levels is likely to come about through a combination of factors, with our funded activities contributing to these. We expect the activities we fund to contribute to wider change and will evaluate all out funded initiatives to assess the impact they have all made towards transformational change. It is, however, important to understand the different levels and the contribution that you expect your activity to make.
Examples of Outcomes at Different Levels
Individual and Family outcomes
The phrase ‘personal outcomes’ is used in health and social care and applies to individual (and potentially family) outcomes. Talking Points: Personal Outcomes Approach - Practical Guide (by the Joint Improvement Team) describes personal outcomes as “what matters to people using services, as well as the end result or impact of activities, and can be used to both determine and evaluate activity. Personal outcomes are identified through good conversations with people using services.”
You set personal outcomes through a conversation with the person or people you are working with. For example, you might work with a care experienced person and agree with them that their personal outcome is “I access funding and use that funding for driving lessons so I learn to drive”.
Beneficiary group outcomes
These are the planned outcomes for the beneficiaries as a whole from a particular project or intervention. An outcome, for example, could be, “care experienced young people have more independence”.
You set organisational or activity outcomes when you are setting up the project and applying for funding. These outcomes should flow from your understanding of the need the project will be meeting and should be informed by what the people you work with say matters to them.
For most organisations their organisational outcome would flow from their mission or charitable purposes. For example, “care experienced young people have a better quality of life”. However, they might also set some organisational outcomes that relate to how well they work as an organisation. For example, “our organisation is well governed, financial sustainable and responsive to the needs of our beneficiaries”.
Organisational outcomes are usually set by the board of an organisation to last for several years – for example for the period of a strategic or business plan.
National or local strategic outcomes
The Life Changes Trust has a set of high level impacts against which we will assess our work and the aggregate impact of our funded initiatives. The full set of our high level outcomes and objectives is available in our Business Plan 2014-2023. They include:
- Improve quality of life, well-being, empowerment and social inclusion for both beneficiary groups.
- Improve community capacity to support and include beneficiary groups in the longer term.
- Increase commitment, capacity and ability of service provider organisations to improve support and care for both beneficiary groups in the longer term.
- Improve policy and practice environment for our beneficiary groups.
- Improve positive public awareness and attitudes to both beneficiary groups.
Each of our Funding Programmes have priority outcome areas for our beneficiary groups. Each funded initiative will be supported by the Trust Funding Evaluation Framework and specific guidance that identifies which outcomes we expect those we fund to contribute to.
Organisations may also need to identify how their activities contribute to other high level outcomes. For example, at a national level the Scottish Government has established a National Performance Framework that sets aspirational outcomes that relate to the wholepopulationor substantial parts of the population. For example, one national outcome that relates to young people is, “our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens”.
The National Performance Framework is the foundation for outcomes-based accountability in public services in Scotland. Each national agency will set its own outcomes that achieve a clear ‘line of sight’ with national outcomes. It is also important to be aware of the key outcomes relating to policy in your field, for example, the Scottish Government's National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes.
More locally, Community Planning Partnerships (responsible for the process by which public services in a local area are planned and provided) set outcomes in Single Outcome Agreements (SOAs). These set the priority outcomes for each local authority area and outline how local agencies will work towards achieving them. SOAs also show how the local priorities contribute to the national priorities.