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Policy Outputs vs. Outcomes

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PPGPortal > Home > Concept Dictionary > P, Q > Policy Outputs vs. Outcomes

Policy Outputs vs. Outcomes

The term "outputs" refers to the actions that the government actually performs. The term "outcomes" refers to the results that are caused by those outputs.

(Grumm 1975, 441 & 448)


In evaluation and performance monitoring, there is an ongoing effort to focus on evaluating policy outcomes rather than outputs. The difficulty is that outcomes are much more difficult to measure than outputs.


Grumm, John G. 1975. “The Analysis of Policy Impact.” In Policies and Policy-Making Handbook of Political Science, vol. 6, edited by Fred Greenstein and Nelson Polsby, 439-473. Reading, Mass.:Addison Wesley.


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