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An outcome evaluation investigates whether changes have occurred for the people participating in a program. It quantifies the magnitude (how big) and direction (positive or negative) of those changes and the circumstances associated with them. An outcome evaluation also seeks to tie these changes to specific elements of the program. This is a way of testing whether the logic model or rationale for the program is valid. An outcome evaluation essentially asks, "What is my program accomplishing in the short term?" and "Am I meeting my objectives?"

When an outcome evaluation demonstrates the effectiveness of a program in achieving its intended outcomes, it not only argues for continued investment in the program but can provide justification for replication elsewhere.

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