Client Outcome Assessments: Supplementing Routine Project Data to Better Understand Outcomes of Interest
Clients affected by HIV and AIDS require a holistic system of support that integrates clinical healthcare with other services that mitigate the impact of HIV and address structural barriers to care. A formalized network of clinical and community-based service providers is crucial for increasing access to a range of HIV, nutrition, and economic strengthening, livelihoods and food security (ES/L/FS) services for this population, which can increase their long-term retention in care and overall wellbeing. The Livelihoods and Food Security Technical Assistance II (LIFT) project supports the establishment and effectiveness of such multi-sectoral referral networks.
This guide describes the implementation of lean assessment methods used under LIFT to understand client- and household-level outcomes associated with participation in the referral network, and provides relevant tools to adapt for use in other projects conducting similar assessments. The guide is intended for implementers and operations researchers who seek guidance on layering lean data collection methods onto ongoing programs. The tools included as annexes to this guide were developed for use under the LIFT project and can be modified as necessary. These tools have been tested and refined from experiences in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Malawi, Tanzania, Lesotho, and Zambia. This guide will continue to be improved and refined, as needed.
 Lean Data is a concept developed by Acumen that focuses on streamlined, low-cost methods for understanding social performance within social enterprises: http://acumen.org/ideas/lean-data/. The concept has been adapted by LIFT and others to describe efficient measurement methods that capitalize on existing activities and project monitoring to assess beneficiary outcomes, similar to implementation science.