1.2: Logic modeling is a way of thinking

A logic model is also more than a map. It is a way of thinking. It is the core of . . .

PlanningA logic model serves as a framework and a process for planning to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. It provides a structure for clearly understanding the situation that drives the need for an initiative, the desired end state and how investments are liked to activities for targeted people in order to achieve their desired results. We find the logic model equally useful for a broad-scale planning as well as more specific program design (More on this in Section 5).
“Planning a course of action, such as managing a program or charting a course of policy, generally implies some sort of logic model” (Millar, Simeone, Carnevale, 2001. p. 73)
Program ManagementA logic model displays the connections between resources, activities, and outcomes. As such it is the basis for developing a more detailed management plan. During the course of implementation, a logic model is used to explain, track, and monitor operations, processes, and functions. It serves as a management tool as well as a framework to monitor fidelity to the plan.
EvaluationA logic model is the first step in evaluation. It helps determine when and what to evaluate so that evaluation resources are used efficiently and effectively. Through evaluation, we test and verify the reality of the program theory – how we believe the program will work. A logic model helps us focus on appropriate process and outcome measures. Some people think of the logic model as an evaluation model, probably, because it is so widely used by evaluators. It is not an evaluation model but does help in evaluation. (see Section 7)
CommunicationsCommunication is key to success and sustainablity. A simple, clear graphic representation helps communicate about our program or initiative, whether it be with/to program staff, those funding the programs, or other key stakeholders.

Logic models have many applications

In this section, we tend to apply logic models to programs, but logic modeling is a way of thinking that has many applications. It can apply to:

  • A small, focused program
  • A comprehensive initiative
  • A process, such as a team or community group working together
  • An organization (local or national)
  • Even a single event or product, such as a conference, tip sheet, newsletter, or this online module

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