Now, let’s put a little more detail on our logic model. You have been introduced to the idea of inputs, outputs, and outcomes. Now, we want to divide outputs into activity and participation. And we want to think about outcomes in terms of short, medium, and long-term outcomes.
Select the plus signs on the logic model graphic to learn more about each part.
The importance of participation or reach
This model includes a specific focus on participation or reach. Effective educational and outreach programming depends on knowing who our target audience is. Good program design requires a clear articulation and understanding of that audience. Activities are designed based on audience characteristics and expected outcomes flow from those participants/audiences. This is part of the program theory – how the program works.
A focus on participation also helps us be accountable for the effective and efficient use of resources. We often must track and report participation data. Who are we working with and how many? We are accountable for working with diverse audiences. Thus, in the logic model we use in this module, we make participation very explicit – who we target, who we reach and as a result, what outcomes can be expected or are achieved.
Participation was part of the Bennett hierarchy of program effectiveness; reach is a concept that Montague (1997, 1994) uses in discussing the 3 Rs of performance: resources, reach, results; which is also discussed in Mc Laughlin and Jordan’s article on logic models (1999).
Outcome vs Impact
In this module, we use impact to mean the final, or ultimate result – the long-term outcome. As such, impact is synonymous with your long-term goal. Commonly, however, the terms outcome and impact are used interchangeably. The term impact in “communicating impact”, “impact reports”, or “impact statements” refers to any outcomes that answer the “so what?” question. It is the difference your programs are making in peoples’ lives.
There may be slight variations in the logic model formats of different organizations and practitioners. A popular version places outputs after activities in the continuum.
The important thing is to depict all the logical connections in the context of an originating situation… to “make implicit understandings explicit.” (McLaughlin & Jordan, 1999)