Program Letter 16-5

Outcomes Data Collection
To:  All Executive Directors
From:  James J. Sandman, President        

As I have previously reported to you, LSC will be requiring grantees to collect information on measurable outcomes—that is, case results achieved for clients—in all extended service cases (including extended service PAI cases).  In a December 2015 webinar, I indicated that as of June 1, 2016, LSC grantees would be required to start collecting outcomes data. We have extended that date to September 1, 2016. During the webinar, I also noted that LSC would phase in an annual reporting requirement related to two outcomes questions.

  • In Calendar Year 2017, grantees will have to confirm that they are collecting outcomes data for all extended services cases.
  • In Calendar Year 2018, grantees will also have to explain how they are using outcomes data in extended services cases to manage towards their strategic goals.

Grantees will have broad flexibility in determining how they track case outcomes. We are not imposing any uniform, national outcomes-measurement framework to assist grantees in developing outcome measurements that are appropriate from them.

LSC launched the Civil Legal Outcomes web site (clo.lsc.gov) that provides a toolkit of suggested options grantees might select to meet LSC’s requirements.  The outcomes toolkit includes a variety of examples drawn from systems that have been implemented successfully in states where the IOLTA funder already requires outcomes reporting.  It also includes case studies from two LSC grantees that have adopted their own outcomes measures in light of their priorities, practices, and service-delivery models. LSC will be updating the toolkit regularly.

To supplement the resources in the outcomes toolkit, LSC recently posted a series of five self-guided e-learning training modules on outcomes measurement and management.  These short modules (each is approximately 12-18 minutes in length) provide guidance on the basics of collecting, analyzing, and using outcomes data to improve client service and program effectiveness.  The modules are:

  • Module 1:  Understanding Outcomes
  • Module 2:  Defining Your Case Outcomes for Extended Representation
  • Module 3:  Technology for Outcomes Data
  • Module 4:  Creating an Outcomes-Friendly Process and Culture
  • Module 5:  Outcomes for Decision Making

The modules can be found in the eLearning section of LSC’s Civil Legal Outcomes website at clo.lsc.gov/elearning/

Grantees will be able to adopt any of the suggestions in the toolkit, or to create their own outcomes-measurement protocols, as long as they have a system for tracking outcomes in extended services cases and can explain how they are using the information they have gathered to manage toward their strategic goals. 

If you are having trouble implementing your outcomes measurement system after you have had an opportunity to review the on-line modules and the other Toolkit resources, please contact Bristow Hardin in LSC’s Office of Data Governance & Analysis at outcomesdata@lsc.gov.