Outcome Mapping

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Brief Description

Outcome Mapping is an innovative approach to project and programme planning, monitoring and evaluation with a strong focus on participatory learning. The major innovation is the emphasis on the behaviour change of key actors with whom the programme has an influence, rather than focussing on changes in state that may or may not be attributed to the programme.


In the late 1990s, the Evaluation Unit at the International Development Research Center in Ottawa, Canada was looking for an M&E approach that addressed a number of problems relating to accountability, attribution, impact assessment and complexity. They came across the work of Barry Kibel of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. His approach, Outcome Engineering, was developed to help the American social services sector meet their reporting needs while improving their performance. After adapting this approach and field testing it, IDRC published the Outcome Mapping manual in 2001.

When to use

How to use

Tips and Lessons Learnt

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Examples & Stories

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Who can tell me more?

  • Simon Hearn (s.hearn [at] odi.org.uk)

Related Methods / Tools / Practices


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(URLs, photos, podcasts)
See the resource library at the Outcome Mapping Learning Community.

Outcome Mapping can be used at the program, project, or organizationel level.
The book can be downloaded: OUTCOME MAPPING Building Learning and Reflection into Development Programs


M&E, planning, monitoring, evaluation, participation, IDRC

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