This paper describes the Outcome Harvesting process, carried out for Helvetas, in three countries in the Western Balkans - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo - to better understand the effects and effectiveness of three of Helvetas' most mature MSD projects.
Numbers are central to reporting the achievements of development projects. But complex initiatives require an understanding of the change that goes beyond capturing numbers. Performance can only be improved by exploring what is possible, what works and how, and by constantly learning and improving.
To complement the numbers and capture rich and context-specific aspects of change that are necessary to effectively learn and improve, a variety of different methods need to be used in addition to measuring numbers. In Outcome Harvesting outcomes are defined as a change in the behaviours, relationships, actions, activities, policies, or practices of an individual, group, community, organisation, or institution that are within the sphere of a project’s influence. These outcomes need to be observable and significant.