To create evidence of your program’s success, it helps to have a solid understanding of what the program is trying to accomplish and how you believe the program is achieving these goals. Creating a logic model helps you articulate how the program is intended to work and consequently, helps you identify which aspects to focus your evaluation on.
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A logic model is a diagram that illustrates the rationale behind your program. It shows the relationships between the resources you invest (inputs), the activities you carry out (outputs), and the benefits you expect (outcomes).
You can read a logic model as a series of if/then statements that connect the different components of your program. For example:
(Adapted from W. K. Kellogg Foundation, 2004)
(Please click on the logic model image below for a larger view.)
Examples of EE program logic models:
...specifically ones for small programs and ones that reflect a variety of EE programs. Please forward your examples to Dr. Michaela Zint.
To learn more about logic models see:
Logic models are valuable tools for both program management and evaluation. They can help you:
The process of constructing a logic model can also help to narrow the focus of your evaluation efforts. Thinking through and clarifying how your inputs, outputs, and outcomes are connected should help you identify which program components are most worthy of evaluating as well as the types of questions you would like your evaluation to answer (See Step 3).
For more on the benefits of creating a logic model, see:
The first step in developing a logic model is to set the parameters of what it should depict. For the purposes of conducting an evaluation, consider questions such as:
Your understanding of what a program does and how it strives to achieve the organization’s mission may be very different from that of other staff members, program participants, etc. Working with other individuals involved in a program can give you a much more accurate picture of how a program functions and what it may be achieving.
The answers to these questions will help you determine which components of your logic model require more attention and detail. For example, if you are interested in program implementation and participant satisfaction (i.e., formative evaluation), you will likely focus on the inputs and outputs sections of your model. In contrast, a summative evaluation of a long-standing program might place greater emphasis on the relations between activities and intermediate-term outcomes.
Once you have determined the focus of your logic model, the final step is to organize information in a way that allows you to see the connections between specific inputs, outputs, and outcomes. Remember that these connections are causal statements.
Make sure that your outcomes are achievable and appropriately scaled to your resources and activities. “Creating an environmentally literate global society and healthy ecosystems around the world” is probably an unrealistic outcome of a program that works with students in three classrooms. To set your program up for a more useful and successful evaluation, ensure that the people or environments you are hoping to impact are within your sphere of influence (Usable Knowledge, 2006).
You will have a stronger logic model if you critically examine the underlying assumption. For example, what experience, research, or other evidence do you have to indicate that your environmental education program is reaching its intended audience or resulting in the changes you expect? (University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, 2006).
These resources provide guidance and tools for creating your logic model:
This self-paced tutorial combines audio and detailed text to offer an in-depth lesson on logic models. Users work through the process of constructing and using a logic model.
Schmitz, C. and B. Parsons. (1999). "Everything you wanted to know about logic models but were afraid to ask." Retrieved June 2007 from http://www.insites.org/documents/logmod.htm.
University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. (2006). Enhancing Program Performance with Logic Models. Retrieved October 2006 from http://www.uwex.edu/ces/lmcourse/.
Usable Knowledge. (2006). Logic Models. Retrieved October 2006 from http://www.usablellc.net/Logic%20Model%20%28Online%29/Presentation_Files/
W. K. Kellogg Foundation. (2004). Logic Model Development Guide. Retrieved August 2006 from http://www.wkkf.org/knowledge-center/resources/2006/02/WK-Kellogg-Foundation-Logic-Model-Development-Guide.aspx.