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How to Guide: Setting and measuring outcomes

Practical guide

Organisation: The Government Outcomes Lab

Authors: Neil Stanworth

Publication Date: 2017

Location: United Kingdom

Policy Areas: Outcome based commissioning, Social impact bonds


The guide is the fifth instalment in the GO Lab 'How to Guide' series, and it has been developed for local commissioners who are involved in the development of outcome based commissioning models of delivery, such as social impact bonds.

By definition, setting the right outcomes, and measuring them effectively, is one of the most important aspects of an outcomes-based contract. The guide provide practical advice on the different types of outcomes and measures available, and issues that need to be thought about in setting appropriate outcomes and measures. It also provide a checklist of key actions and issues to consider at each stage of the process of developing and implementing an outcomes-based contract. Included in the guide:

  • Understanding outcomes, measures and metrics
  • Different types of outcomes
  • Individual versus cohort measurement
  • Developing an outcomes framework
  • Involving providers and investors
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