The outcomes approach

Summary

The outcomes approach is embedded in and a direct resultant of the electoral mandate. Contained below is a summary of the process that contextualises the Cabinet approved outcomes.

Step 1: The Ruling Party’s election manifesto identified five priority areas: decent work and sustainable livelihoods, education, health, rural development, food security and land reform and the fight against crime and corruption.

Step 2: Development of the Medium Term Strategic Framework which is an expression of government’s Programme of Action where ten strategic priority areas were identified.

Step 3: Development of twelve Key Outcomes, with accompanying outputs and strategic activities and metrics.

Step 4: Development and signing of Performance Agreements between the President and Ministers, which outline high level outputs, metrics and key and contributing activities towards each outcome.

Step 5: Conversion of high level outputs and metrics into a detailed Delivery Agreement with key partners that need to work together to achieve the outputs. The negotiated Agreement spells out who will do what by when and with what resources.

Step 6: Establishment of effective coordinating structures to ensure that key partners of the Delivery Agreements work together to achieve the outputs. These structures would coordinate the implementation of the outcomes, reviewing progress and deciding on interventions when required. These structures would also conduct monitoring & evaluation of the degree to which the outcomes are being achieved, which will provide a feedback loop to annual reviews of the Delivery Agreements.

Outcomes

The outcomes for 2014 to 2019 is published as annexures to the Medium Term Strategic Framework:

The President signs performance agreements with all Cabinet Ministers. In these performance agreements, Ministers establish an Implementation Forum for each of the outcomes. In each implementation forum Ministers and all other parties responsible for delivering on an outcome, develop a Delivery Agreement. All departments, agencies and spheres of government involved in the direct delivery process required to achieve an output, should be party to the agreement.

The Delivery Agreement refines and provides more detail to the outputs, targets, indicators and key activities for each outcome, and identify required inputs and clarify roles and responsibilities. It spells out who will do what, by when and with what resources.

Delivery Agreements further unpack each outcome and each output and the requirements to reach the targets. Aspects described in detail include the legislative and regulatory regime, the institutional environment and decision-making processes and rights, the resources needed and re-allocation of resources where appropriate.

Understanding the logic model

Government needs to go beyond the work that we do and interrogate the impact that it has. This approach involves management using a logic model which links inputs, activities, outputs outcomes and impacts. The triangle below demonstrates these links more clearly:

It becomes useful to standardise the use of the following terms:

  • INPUTS are everything we need to accomplish a task. This could be in terms of finance, human resources, infrastructure etc.
  • ACTIVITIES describe a collection of functions (actions, jobs, tasks) that consume inputs and which deliver benefits and impacts.
  • OUTPUTS can be immediate and intermediate. These are the direct products and services generated through processes or activities without specific reference to their ultimate purpose.
  • OUTCOMES refer to a changed state of being. They describe the effects, benefits or consequences that occur due to the outputs of programmes, processes or activities. The realisation of the outcomes has a time factor and can be in either the medium or long-term.

Delivery agreements

Media statements on signing of delivery agreements

Related links