Outcome Harvesting: An Evaluation Tool for Understanding Outcomes

What is Outcome Harvesting?

Outcome harvesting is an evaluation methodology used globally. It’s well-suited to situations where leaders are more interested in results than activities. It helps solve evaluation challenges associated with complex settings where there is considerable dynamism between multiple partners, systems, and potential programs, as in collective impact efforts. Outcome harvesting helps clarify cause and effect with an interactive, facilitated approach that often includes very diverse perspectives to document outcomes.

Why is a new evaluation tool needed?

Philanthropists, policy makers, and leaders in the social sector pay increasing attention to the impact of their efforts and investments. At the same time, the social problems they hope to address are incredibly complex. Often, the perspectives of those most affected by social problems are missing when identifying solutions and describing outcomes. Better tools are needed to understand outcomes in this context of audacious goals, complex systems, and a commitment to including all perspectives.

Additional Resources

If you would like to learn more about Outcome Harvesting, consider the following resources:

About the Workshop

Based in Brazil but working internationally, Ricardo Wilson-Grau will be travelling to the Twin Cities to facilitate a 2-part workshop on September 28, 2015. Mr. Wilson-Grau is a frequent lecturer and presenter in the field of developmental evaluation. Over the past decade, he and a group of colleagues have developed the Outcome Harvesting tool while performing dozens of developmental, formative, and summative evaluations (see more here).

Part 1: 9:00am – 12:00pm

Leaders focused on social impact will come together in an interactive conversation to:

  • Hear each other’s experiences in measuring outcomes in complex settings
  • Learn about the potential for using outcome harvesting
  • Explore cases where the outcome harvesting method has solved challenges of measurement
  • Determine how outcome harvesting can be used to make decisions in social impact efforts

A light continental breakfast will be served.

Part 2: 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Over lunch, evaluators will participate in an interactive discussion about the role of evaluators in outcome harvesting efforts. Lunch will be provided by BRASA.

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