Covid Recovery strategy activity overview and next steps report

This report identifies and captures key learnings from the implementation of the Covid Recovery strategy in order to inform future approaches to public service reform.

An outcome framework to support delivery based on areas of focus


An outcome framework was developed to illustrate the short and medium term outcomes that contribute to the three long-term outcomes articulated in the CRS. This approach was designed to help shift the focus of policy decisions, funding and accountability from short-term output-based activity towards longer-term outcome-focused approaches. These three core outcomes subsequently provided a focus and vision for activity.

Responding to recommendations made by the Programme Board, a bespoke ‘Covid Recovery Dashboard’ reporting on these indicators was developed with support from Public Health Scotland. The foundations of the dashboard were used to develop a care and wellbeing dashboard which is now being used to inform the care and wellbeing portfolio seeking to improve population health, address health inequalities and improve the health and care system.


Our approach to developing the outcome framework was robust and involved an analytical advisory group with representatives from across the Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland (PHS) and the Improvement Service. This collaborative approach provided necessary rigour and scrutiny and ensured alignment with existing frameworks used across the Scottish Government and wider public sector partners.

The analytical advisory group was also responsible for identifying relevant high-level indicators to help measure progress over time towards high-level outcomes. Most indicators identified were from population surveys or large administrative data sets which reported annually. One of the main challenges was identifying indicators which reported frequently enough to identify and influence more ‘real-time’ trends.

The development of the outcome framework was a resource intensive exercise that delivered a suite of measures that could be used to track outcomes. Due to restrictions in collecting any further data, there are limitations as to how effective the framework is to driving improvement. This is an issue that has been seen across Government.

The development of the dashboard demonstrated that it is difficult to go from high level outcomes to having a suite of measures that all are agreed on and can be reported on frequently. Despite the success in developing the framework, this work identified the difficulties of measuring outcomes, rather than outputs.

As a result of a changing external context, the outcomes for national and local government subsequently broadened to incorporate those set out in the Scottish Government’s Policy Prospectus, with the foundations of the Covid Recovery Dashboard being used to develop the Care and Wellbeing dashboard.


Informed by the work of the CRS outcomes framework, the Verity House Agreement commends that the Scottish Government and COSLA jointly develop an outcome framework. It should;

  • be robust enough to report on outcomes in an attributable way
  • identify and bring together similar outcomes made in commitments across national and local government to ensure visibility and join-up across the public sector
  • monitor outcomes that are important to both national and local government
  • align to the National Outcomes in the National Performance Framework.
  • be linked to funding and joint accountability



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