Outcomes are events, occurrences, or conditions that indicate progress in achieving the purpose of the program. Outcomes reflect the results of a program activity compared with its intended purpose. Outcomes may also answer the question, "Will these resources result in success or contribute to the success of what we want to accomplish?"
Outcomes can be viewed from two different perspectives—ultimate and intermediate. For an occupational safety and health research program like the NIOSH Surveillance Program, ultimate outcomes are reductions in a particular type of worker injury or illness. Injuries and illnesses have complex causes, and any effect of program activities on rates can take years to be seen. Therefore, outcomes are often measured on an intermediate timeframe. Intermediate outcomes are necessary steps that lead to ultimate outcomes—for example, reductions in the risk of a particular type of injury or illness. For occupational safety and health research programs, achieving intermediate risk reductions is as important as achieving the ultimate outcome of decreasing injury and illness incidence rates.
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