Over at my Networked Social Movements: Media & Mobilization class, we've been discussing different approaches to understanding social movement outcomes. Thinking more carefully about movement outcomes helps us get beyond simplistic debates about the role of particular tools or tactics. In my own work, drawing from social movement theory, I find Suzanne Stagennborg's framework of mobilization, policy, and cultural outcomes useful.
Mobilization outcomes have to do with the scale of participation in a specific action - how many people turned out to your event, or took the action you requested.
Policy outcomes seem self explanatory - was there a concrete policy that the movement was able to pass (or block)? However, it gets complex when you start to look at how small shifts in policy language can come as the result of movement activity, even when it's not an entire bill.