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Logic Models: A Conceptual Map

January 6th, 2019

When some people hear the term logic model, a nervous quiver runs through their spine: flashbacks to a painful and frustrating logic model development experience.

Unfortunately, experiences like this have given this term a bad rap, so it’s OK to call it something else: program impact model, evaluation map, program planning and evaluation map, and so on.

Whatever you call it, the logic model tool is an important way to visually capture what your program does and the expected difference it will make.

Why? Because it provides insight about what methodology and measurements to use in evaluating your program. You’ll typically use logic models as a framework in discussing program evaluation with staff—it literally gets everyone on the same page.

Think of your logic model as the wind that powers the sails of your ship—it will determine where your program goes and the outcomes it will have.

Essential questions to consider when beginning the logic model development process:

The logic model becomes a valuable map to staying on course. Keep it visually present—post it on the walls. Include it in grant proposals. That way it becomes woven into the organizational culture and will be more likely to be used and referenced. (And avoid fading into becoming obsolete!)

Now we have an amazing way to measure the physical, emotional, and mental effects of our programs...

Chari accurately captured the fundamental goals and mission of our organization and transformed our input into a clear evaluation process that helps us assess the impact of our programs on the lives of the families that we serve. Now we have an amazing way to measure the physical, emotional, and mental effects of our programs and to guide change, ensuring that we are delivering services in the most effective way possible.

Brandi Tuck, Executive Director, Portland Homeless Family Solutions

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