Are Outcomes The Best Outcome?
This commentary challenges the obsession with outcomes as part of the preoccupation with accountability. It recognises the need for clearly defined targets, but it argues that many crucial and equally important developments can be inadvertently overlooked in the question to quantify. This practice runs the risk of ignoring some of the most valuable accomplishments CED organizations or other community organizations can make. Using the experience of a well known and respected CED organization in southern Ontario as a case in point, she argues that their research on its effectiveness challenges the conventional wisdom that “sees social well-being merely as a fringe benefit of a well performing economy.” Quite the opposite, says the author, asserting that growing evidence indicates that social cohesion, represented by dense networks and social infrastructure, are crucial to economic performance.