A logic model is a brief (usually one-page) visual representation of how your program works. This visual shows the relationships between the program inputs and resources (what is invested in the program), the activities (what is done with those resources), the outputs (what results from the programming) and the outcomes (the results).
It is not an evaluation design itself or fully developed strategic plan or work plan
They logically link program activities & strategies to short term, intermediate, and long term outcomes
Simple Logic Model
Key Elements of a Logic Model
It is sometimes helpful to break down the components of a logic model into two parts: 1) Your planned work and 2) Your intended results (Kellogg, 2004).
Mission, overall objective, or goal of program – e.g. support adult and child survivors to heal from violence and thrive
Inputs or resources – the tangible and intangible resources we have to conduct the activities, e.g. staff, funding, curriculum, etc.
Activities – the key components of the work that address the problem we are trying to solve, e.g. community outreach, 10 therapy groups, etc.
Outputs – direct products of program activities, e.g. 100 people served
Outcomes – the changes that we expect to see if we complete our activities
Assumptions – underlying beliefs about how your program will work, e.g. the program we’ve selected is a good cultural fit, or program clients will attend after-school sessions, etc.
Your Planned Work/ What You Do
Inputs or Resources – the tangible and intangible resources used to conduct activities (e.g. staff, funding, curriculum, etc.) and human, financial, organizational, and community resources that the program must direct towards the program (e.g. personnel, expertise, grant funding, etc.).
Resources – include human, financial, organizational, and community resources the program must direct towards the program. When identifying your resources consider the following questions:
- What do we need to pay for?
- Who do we need to pay?
- Are we starting from scratch or are there curriculum materials to purchase?
- What intangible resources are needed?
- What partnerships and relationships are needed?
Activities – the key components of the work that address the problem we are trying to solve (e.g. community outreach, 10 therapy groups, etc.) and what a program does with their resources. Direct products of program activities show evidence that the program was implemented. This is demonstrated through the processes, tools, events, and actions that are key to the program implementation. Think “ACTIONS!
Your Intended Results/ What You Plan to Achieve
Outputs – direct products of program activities. Things that can be counted or measured (e.g. types of services provided, levels of service, targets of services of the program, 100 people served).
They don’t convey the value or the effect of your project. Outputs could be counted as the number of training classes offered, people served, referrals made, or events hosted.
- Outputs are not the best measures of effects or performance.
Outcomes – the changes that we expect to see if we complete our activities (e.g. can include changes in behavior, knowledge, skills, stability, function, etc.).
- Ask yourself, “What difference does it make?”
- Ask yourself, “What change would I expect to see first, second, ultimately?”
- Short–term – 1-2 years, most immediate and measurable results (e.g. attitudes, awareness, knowledge).
- Long–term – 3-4 years, more distant, anticipated results (e.g. changes, behaviors, stability, practices, etc.).
- Impact – 5+ years. The fundamental intended change resulting from your efforts. Likely organization, community, or systems change. This often occurs after grant funding periods. Think “BIG PICTURE!”
- No hard or fast rules, consider the overall timeframe of the program.
Short-term outcomes are the most immediate and measurable results for participants that can be attributed to strategies and activities. For example, a program that promotes increased parent engagement in students’ college planning might have a short-term goal of increased parent participation in the provided parent sessions.
Long-term outcomes are the more distant, though anticipated, results of participation in strategies and activities. When it comes to short and long-term outcomes, it is good to think about the overall timeframe for the program. Sometimes, short-term is considered to be as short as six months or as long as three years. Long-term might be two years or as long as six years. The important point is to consider the program and identify the timeframe, specific to the initiative, for short and long-term outcomes. For example, a long-term outcome for a program focused on increasing college readiness may be improved academic performance of the participants in the program.
Impacts are the desired outcomes of long-term implementation of strategies and activities that depend on conditions beyond the program’s scope of strategies. These may be called the “pie in the sky” or the big picture types of objectives that are more distant from the actual strategies and activities and less within the control of the program or policy to realize. Often these are considered to be 7–10 years after initial implementation. For example, an impact of a college readiness program might be an increased percentage of students graduating from post-secondary institutions after participating in their high school’s college readiness program.
Describing Your Program with a Logic Model
Gather documents that may contain any information about the activities that you conduct and the outcomes that you aim to achieve..
- Grant applications.
- Past evaluations, logic models or strategic planning documents.
- Annual board or impact reports.
- Curricula or work planning documents.
- Your mission, vision, and values.
- Hint: pull from your website if easiest.
Logic Model Tips
Ensure that MAJOR activities needed to implement the program are included
Activities clearly connect to that specific program
List major resources needed to implement the program
All activities should have sufficient and appropriate resources
- Using Logic Models by Child Welfare Information Gateway
- Guiding Program Development with Logic Models by W.K. Kellogg Foundation
- Kellogg’s comprehensive Logic Model Development Guide
- Community Toolbox - Section 1. Developing a Logic Model or Theory of Change
- Using Logic Models Grounded in Theory of Change to Support Trauma-Informed Initiatives