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Ongoing funding and support is more likely to be given if you can show positive outcomes of your community food activity. These outcomes need to be matched to the outcomes support organisations (such as funders, local agencies and the Scottish Government) are looking for.

Outcomes are measured using indicators. Indicators are elements of your work that can be measured, such as how much fresh produce has been consumed or how many people have benefited.

What are outcomes?

Outcomes are the changes made as a result of our work. By measuring outcomes you can demonstrate the difference that is made through your activities.

Outputs are what you deliver through your activities, e.g. the number of people attending a training course or the number of people receiving a newsletter.

For example, if we consider a food and health training course. The output for this would be the number of people taking part in the training session and the outcomes would measure what they have learnt and what they will do differently as a result of this training.

Outputs are important to report as well as outcomes.

Why are outcomes important?

Outcomes are important as they reflect the difference that is being made for communities and not just how this difference is being made. They encourage us to focus on the changes and not just the activities. By measuring the outcomes that are achieved through activities we are highlighting the real differences that are made for individuals and families.

Who measures outcomes?

In 2007 the Scottish Government launched Scotland Performs, a national performance framework designed to capture change and progress against priority issues for Scotland. This outcomes-focused approach encourages us to focus on the differences being made.

Funders and agencies want to show a difference has been made by their support for your work. Local authorities, the Scottish Government and health boards all have intended outcomes they want to achieve in the next few years. If your outcomes match theirs, you have a better chance of gaining support.

Many community food initiatives have been evaluating their outcomes for a long time whilst others are now getting to grips with this new reporting environment. This is the same for some funders.

Where to go for more information


Some CFHS publications on outcomes

Other useful reports