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Global Monitoring Report: Focusing on Outcomes

Focusing on Outcomes

Dear Friends,

Heather Simpson, Chief Program Officer

I am excited to have the opportunity to introduce Room to Read’s eighth annual Global Monitoring Report.

When I joined Room to Read earlier this year, I was immediately struck by the organization’s commitment to data. Room to Read continually strives to improve the effectiveness of our programs through an objective assessment of the data we collect, while also enabling others to hold us accountable by making our data transparently available to our stakeholders.

As a further commitment, each year we reflect on our research, monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure that we’re focusing on the data that matter most. In the early years of this report, most of what we reported was output data — for example, the number of libraries established, the number of books published, or the number of girls who received support.

While these kinds of indicators remain important, and we will continue to report them, we have increasingly been focusing our data collection and reporting on outcomes — such as children’s reading skills and girls’ progression through secondary school and beyond. With outcome data, we are moving beyond simply tracking what we do, looking instead at what happens as a result. What are the real benefits of our work for children’s lives?

“Only by looking at outcomes can we truly know whether we are succeeding as an organization.” Heather Simpson Chief Program Officer


Holding ourselves accountable to outcomes is challenging. These indicators are usually harder to measure than outputs, and are far more likely to be influenced by factors outside our direct control. But ultimately, these are the indicators that matter most; only by looking at outcomes can we truly know whether we are succeeding as an organization.

This report provides evidence that we are doing just that. In it, we detail numerous examples of our growing focus on collecting and reporting outcome data, and describe the results to date. I hope that the results presented in this report will generate questions, spark dialogue and inspire others in the global education community so that we can all strive to create better educational outcomes for children.


Heather Simpson

Chief Program Officer
Literacy Program


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