• Objective (Adjective)

    • in General

      Not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

    Practice & Source: (1) Generic: Oxford Living Dictionaries
  • Objective (Noun)

    • in General

      A thing aimed at or sought; a goal.

    Practice & Source: (1) Generic: Oxford Living Dictionaries
  • Operating support

    • in Philanthropy

      A contribution given to cover an organization’s day-to-day, ongoing expenses, such as salaries, utilities, office supplies, etc.

    Practice & Source: (1) Philanthropy: Council on Foundations: Glossary of Philanthropic Terms

    “Operating support” is also commonly referred to as “general operating support.” It tends to be seen as all too rare by nonprofit organizations.

  • Operations research

    • in Evaluating

      A way of using analytical methods to help make better decisions. Its methods can be used by almost all organizations, groups and individuals. It uses methods such as logic and mathematical modelling to analyze complex situations, giving decision makers of all types the power to make more effective decisions.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluating: The Operational Research Society

    Similar to “evaluation”, “accounting”, and “economics”, “operations (or operational) research” can refer to the field of practice or the profession. Operations research includes methods of simulation, system dynamics, and decision modelling among others.

  • Optimism bias

    • in Evaluating

      Over-emphasizing pleasing outcomes, while failing to identify limitations and weaknesses. This might come about through evaluating ambiguous information in a favorable light. It might also take the form of requiring a higher standard of evidence for a negative conclusion, while accepting a lower standard of evidence for a positive conclusion.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluation: Evaluation Resource Hub Glossary, New South Wales Government

    Optimism bias, which is also known as unrealistic or comparative optimism, is a common cognitive bias that causes a person to believe that they are at a lesser risk of experiencing a negative event compared to others (see Wikipedia entry). But when applied to evaluation it means the tendency of appraisers–whether applying ex ante or ex post–to give less weight to negative findings from to positive findings.

  • Outcome evaluation

    • in Evaluating

      This form of evaluation assesses the extent to which a program achieves its outcome oriented objectives. It focuses on outputs and outcomes (including unintended effects) to judge program effectiveness but may also assess program processes to understand how outcomes are produced.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluation: USAID Glossary of Evaluation Terms

    An outcome evaluation does not require the development of a counterfactual as is required for an impact evaluation.

  • Outcome map / outcome mapping (Noun)

    • in Evaluating

      Outcome mapping (OM) is a methodology for planning, monitoring and evaluating development initiatives in order to bring about sustainable social change. As the name suggests, its niche is understanding outcomes; the so-called ‘missing-middle’ or ‘black box’ of results that emerge downstream from the initiative’s activities but upstream from longer-term economic, environmental, political or demographic changes.


    • in General

      Outcome mapping is an approach to planning, monitoring and evaluation that: puts people at the center; defines outcomes as changes in behavior; helps measure contribution to complex change processes.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluation: BetterEvaluation (2) Generic: Outcome Mapping Learning Community

    Outcome maps are part of family of tools that includes logic models and theory of change frameworks, which seek in slightly different ways to clarify the presumed logical intended relationships among the objects of a program, project or activity. The outcome map approach was developed by the International Development Research Centre. It pays particular attention to tracking changes in behaviors as important intermediate outcomes towards longer-term goals.

  • Outcome(s)

    • in Evaluating

      The likely or achieved short-term and medium-term effects of an intervention’s outputs.


    • A results or effect that is caused by or attributable to the project, program or policy. Outcome is often used to refer to more immediate and intended effects.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluation: DAC/OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management

    Outcomes follow outputs in a logic model or value chain and reflect the result of the output on stakeholders, especially intended beneficiaries. Sometimes the term implies positive and intended results. Unlike outputs, outcomes are not within the full control of the management of the intervention, service etc., are not fully attributable to intervention, but do have value (positive or negative) to the intended beneficiary and/or other stakeholders. The World Bank Results Framework Terminology refers to this distinction as a difference between the supply of goods and services (outputs) compared to a change in the use or demand of goods and services (outcomes).

  • Outcomes rate card

    • IN Finance

      Outcomes rate cards are a menu of outcomes that government seeks to achieve and the prices they are willing to pay for each outcome achievement.

      They are used as a procurement and contracting tool with the ability to standardize performance-based financing, through Pay for Success, and drastically reduce the time such deals take to get to market. One rate card can result in multiple contracts with multiple providers, who must deliver against its pre-determined outcomes and prices, receiving payment only when the stated outcomes are achieved and participants’ lives are positively impacted.

    Practice & Source: (1) Finance/Impact investing: Outcomes Rate Card, Social Finance
  • Output(s)

    • in Evaluating

      The products, capital goods and services which result from a development intervention; may also include changes resulting from the intervention which are relevant to the achievement of outcomes.

    • in Evaluating

      The products, goods, and services which result from an intervention.

    • in Economics

      The fruit of economic activity: whatever is produced by using the factors of production.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluation: DAC/OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management (2) Evaluation: USAID Glossary of Evaluation Terms (3) Economics: The Economist: Economics A to Z

    “Output” or “outputs” refer to the planned and direct result of a business, service, intervention, or program that is within full control of the management of the business etc. It is often as part of a logic model or theory of change. It is also used as an aggregate measure of production. See the commentary on “outcome(s)” for the distinction between outputs and outcomes.

  • Overhead

    • in Accounting

      Costs of a business that are not directly associated with the production or sale of goods or services.

    Practice & Source: (1) Accounting: NY's Society of CPAs: Accounting Terminology Guide

    While developed for businesses, the concept overhead applies to the costs of operating a nonprofit or social enterprise that are not directly related to the production of services or goods. Overhead costs are not the same as selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses although they may overlap. In the charity sector, the term overhead is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to costs that are not directly project-related, such as administrative staff or fundraising costs.