The Human Services Outcomes Framework

Using an outcomes focused approach to program design, delivery and evaluation facilitates a better understanding of how programs deliver benefits for the community.

The NSW Government is committed to adopting an outcomes-focused approach to the design, delivery and evaluation of human services.

The Human Services Outcomes Framework was developed in consultation with NSW Government agencies and NGOs which deliver human services for the people of NSW; and is based on evidence gathered locally and internationally.

The Framework is intended to:

  • build a common understanding of the outcomes which are priorities across NSW Government agencies and NGOs
  • support human services agencies and NGOs to adopt an outcomes-focused approach
  • promote consistency of measurement and evaluation of human services outcomes and activities
  • foster innovation, learning and improvement
  • encourage Government agencies and other organisations which deliver human services to work together more effectively
  • assist operational staff to understand how their roles contribute to broader human services outcomes.

NSW Government agencies and NGOs are encouraged to use the Framework and provide feedback so that the Framework can be continuously improved.

Let’s Get Started

Follow the steps below to learn more about the Framework and how to embed outcomes in your program planning, delivery and evaluation.

At the end of each step, a button will direct you to the next stage.

Alternatively, you can read more about each step by clicking on the links below.

The Framework

This section provides background on the Framework, including its seven high level ‘outcomes domains’, which are underpinned by examples of desired population outcomes and primary indicators.

This section also provides insights on how these domains can be used to assist Government agencies and organisations which deliver human services to develop their own outcomes and indicators. 

As part of this step, users can also review a number of current outcomes and indicators used by the NSW Government and human service delivery organisations.


This section describes outcomes focused approaches in general, why this type of approach is important and how this approach works in practice. 


This section steps users through a logic model to define and deliver against outcomes and to understand the practical difference between inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes.


This section allows users to develop indicators aligned to desired program outcomes.

This step also includes tips on what indicators to use and how to collect and collate data to measure the impact of a program.


This section describes how to use data to learn and embed continuous improvement practices.

This includes guidance on when to revisit and adjust a program’s logic model and activities; and on the steps and environment required to create a learning culture in an organisation.

Work together

This section provides examples of how an outcomes approach facilitates collaboration between and across organisations, and guidance on how to establish  and achieve shared outcomes.


This section provides guidance on embedding outcomes in procurement processes, including for outcomes-based contracting and funding.