Outcome Harvesting

Ricardo Wilson-Grau

Ricardo Wilson-Grau started working in the early 2000s as an independent evaluator and organisational development consultant supporting social change organisations, in particular networks, and private donor programmes. Beginning in 2002, working closely with co-evaluators and commissioners of evaluations, Ricardo developed Outcome Harvesting (OH) to enable evaluators, grant makers, and managers to identify, formulate, verify, and make sense of changes that interventions influenced in a broad range of cutting-edge innovation and development projects and programs around the world.

Since 2003, he focused his evaluation work on international social change networks and organisations and the programmes of major development funders, including ActionAid, CARE International, CIAT, Doen Foundation, Hivos, IDRC, Ford, Oxfam Novib, PSO, the Open Society Institute, UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, and the World Bank Institute. This work involved assessing the results (at the level of outcomes) of almost 500 NGOs, CBOs, government agencies, multi laterals, research institutes and networks in 143 countries around the world. The areas of work ranged from health, the environment, agriculture, and human rights to art and culture, water and sanitation, peace-building, and ICT for development, amongst others. Through these evaluations, he continued to develop Outcome Harvesting with colleagues for identifying and understanding results in complex circumstances. His organisational development work was primarily in adapting Outcome Mapping to the planning, monitoring and evaluation needs of development organisations and international networks.

Ricardo started his professional career as a factory worker and door-to-door salesman in the USA, surveyor and community development worker in Colombia, publishing executive in the Puerto Rico, field director for the American Friends Service Committee in Guatemala, director of the Latin American Programme of experiential Friends World College, journalist and managing director of Inforpress Centroamericana in Guatemala, senior manager with Greenpeace International in Amsterdam, and foreign aid advisor with Novib, the Dutch Oxfam, in The Hague.

His years of experience developing Outcome Harvesting and leading the OH Community culminated in writing his book: Outcome Harvesting; principles, steps and evaluation applications, right before his death in late 2018. In his book, Ricardo explains the steps of Outcome Harvesting and how to customize them according to the nine underlying principles. He shares his experience and gives practical advice on how to work with Outcome Harvesting and remain true to its essential features.
We are fortunate for the legacy Ricardo has left to the monitoring and evaluation community and are honoured and committed to continue his work. In Ricardo´s words: we hope that through this platform the lessons being learned world-wide about how to adapt Outcome Harvesting will be shared, challenged and advanced.