Edited by Albert N. Link and Nicholas S. Vonortas
Chapter 6: Logic modeling: a tool for designing program evaluations
Logic modeling is a process, a management and evaluation tool, to develop a succinct picture of a program’s goals and the strategies for achieving these within a broader context. The process makes explicit what is often implicit. A logic model is a plausible and sensible model of how the program will work under certain environmental conditions to solve identified problems (Bickman, 1987). The elements of the logic model are resources, activities, outputs, customers reached, short-, intermediate- and longer-term outcomes reached, and the relevant external contextual influences on the program (McLaughlin and Jordan, 1999, 2010). The process of developing the model builds a shared understanding of the program and performance expectations as well as a short, clear “performance story” for those less familiar with the program, such as senior managers and Congress. The primary use of logic modeling is to design program evaluations and performance measurement systems. Managers and evaluators can use the logic model to identify appropriate measures and indicators of success to demonstrate progress from inputs to outcomes, that is, all along the program’s performance spectrum, and to identify researchable issues or questions that need to be evaluated. The process also informs program design or redesign.
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