Retrospective 'outcome harvesting': Generating robust insights

This paper describes the use of the Outcome Harvesting approach to evaluate a global voluntary network.

It is the second paper published as part of the BetterEvaluation writeshop series. The authors are Kornelia Rassmann, Richard Smith, John Mauremootoo and Ricardo Wilson-Grau. The reviewers were Irene Guijt and Willy Pradel.

The paper discusses three aspects of evaluation practice:

1. How Outcome Harvesting, complemented by interviews, was employed as a practical way to identify and evaluate the (sometimes unanticipated) outcomes of an extensive network

2. What was undertaken to ensure validity and credibility of the outcomes met the needs of the primary intended users of the evaluation

3. How the challenges of using a time-intensive methodology in a time-deficient situation were addressed.


  • Introduction
  • Evaluation Context and Questions
  • BioNET - the global network for taxonomy
  • The BioNET Global Programme 2007-2011
  • Evaluation purpose, primary users and evaluation questions
  • Methodology
  • Outcome Harvesting - adapting Outcome Mapping principles for evaluations
  • Managing the evaluation
  • Defining the task
  • Data collection
  • Data verification, substantiation and interviews
  • Interpretation and synthesis
  • Use of the evaluation
  • Challenges in the evaluation process
  • Use of OM and Outcome Harvesting for evaluating a global, diverse network
  • Validity and credibility of outcomes through verification and substantiation
  • Tight time schedule and time intensive methodology
  • Conclusions


Rassmann, K. & Smith, R. & Mauremootoo, J. & Wilson-Grau, R. (2013) Retrospective 'Outcome Harvesting': Generating robust insights about a global voluntary environmental network. BetterEvaluation, Melbourne, Victoria.

'Retrospective 'outcome harvesting': Generating robust insights' is referenced in: