UK Research and Innovation has a responsibility to demonstrate the value and impact of research supported through public funding. UKRI Councils use information that researchers provide on the outputs, outcomes and impact (subsequently referred to as ‘outcomes’) of their Council-funded projects to report to, and engage with, both the government and the public.
Project results can be divided into three types:
Outputs are those results which are achieved immediately after implementing an activity. For example, if we are organizing a workshop on human rights, participants who attended it have now got a clear understanding on human rights issues. So, this is an output the project has achieved and it is achieved right after the conclusion of the workshop.
Outcomes can be considered as mid-term results. They are not seen immediately after the end of the project activity. But after some time, when we see some change at the ground level because of the project activity, then it can be termed as an outcome. Taking the above example of a human rights workshop, if the participants have started to mobilize their community members to seek their human rights, then it is an outcome of the project.
Impact is usually a long-term result and it may not be achievable even during the life cycle of the project.
“Output, outcomes, who cares” is an expression I’ve heard from nonprofit and government leaders more than once. Typically, I’m not a stickler for semantics and jargon. However, the distinction, understanding, and adoption between these two concepts in social sector organizations is near and dear to my heart. ...
It’s Not Just Semantics: Managing Outcomes Vs. Outputs