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Results of a project can be differentiated in outputs, outcomes and impacts of an intervention.OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management. Project outputs can generally be identified very easily. Yet, they represent only a first step towards the ultimate objective of project interventions: Initiating project-related outcomes and having true impacts on the ground.


Outputs are an immediate deliverable of a project. They should be finalised and publicly available by the time the project terminates. Outputs comprise tangible project results such as tools, databases, executive summaries, educational material etc.

  • Best practice: Collection of best and good practices or even development of best practice (may be also a pilot activity)
  • Conference report: Documents with information and outcomes of conferences
  • Data: Data collected in the project, may be quantitative or qualitative
  • Database: Data collected and organized in a database
  • policy oriented summary: Non-scientific summary which comprises the most relevant results for decision makers and the public
  • Guidelines: Guideline as a support for implementation of the achieved results for civil servants, planner, NGO, etc.
  • Indicator: Suggestion or development of indicators to analyze status or changes of specific criteria
  • Institution: Institution or organisational structure developed in the project
  • Intermediate: Outputs on which the project builds up, background information on project
  • Label: A label to characterize or certify a specific quality of a project, a process etc.
  • Literature review: Collection of relevant literature for a certain topic
  • Map: Map compiled in the project
  • Methodology: Development of a methodology which was new developed or new implemented
  • Network: Network of stakeholder, experts, decision maker established in the project
  • Pilot activity: Any pilot activity which has been carried out in the course of the project
  • Public relation: Dissemination tools such as books, films, exhibitions (but not the usual newsletters, press information)
  • (Policy) Recommendations: Recommendation dedicated to decision maker and policy maker to shape their fields of action
  • Report: Public available report on work package, overall project report or on single activities
  • Strategy: Strategy is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals
  • Study: In-depth analysis and study of a particular issue, delivering qualitative and quantitative results
  • Theory: Development of a new theory in the respective field of expertise
  • Tool: Tools or measures which help to implement the project insights in the practice
  • Tool Framework: Descriptions of technical and communication contents of tools
  • White paper: A white paper is an authoritative document which helps stakeholders to understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision

Outcomes and Impacts

Outcomes are the likely or achieved short-term and medium-term effects of an intervention's outputs, e.g. the outcome of improved, knowledged-based decision-making processes as an effect of a knowledge database (= output) established by a project. Outcomes will in in most cases not materialise before project closure.
Impacts are positive and negative, primary and secondary long-term effects produced by a development intervention, directly or indirectly, intended or unintended.OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management
As outcomes and impacts are difficult to differentiate, this section contains both of these types of project results.
The identification of outcomes and impacts requires a deeper insight into the respective project e.g. through project participants or direct interviews with project representatives. Outcomes and impacts are usually not solely influenced by projects, but are a complex combination of project results on the one hand and framework conditions on the other.

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