This post begins with some background information, and then lists How-To steps.
Why would I create a Logic Model?
You might consider creating a Logic Model for your project or organization if you are interested in evaluating whether you and your stakeholders are meeting your own goals for impact.
How can I use a Logic Model?
An organization or program can use a Logic Model to help identify its goals, activities, outcomes and audiences. This encapsulates the overall “logic”, or theory of change, that members and staff of the organization use to explain how their activities should lead to the outcomes they are working toward. A Logic Model goes hand-in-hand with the instruments (surveys, data analysis, etc) that can be used to measure program impact against the outcomes specified in the Model. Programs, and even entire organizations, can measure not only their outputs, but also the extent to which they are achieving the Short-term outcome they seek, and in some case also the Medium-term outcomes. Note: Long-term outcomes are often focused on many decades into the future and can’t really be measured.
What goes into a Logic Model?
Logic models components can vary but usually include:
- Inputs (resources dedicated to the program including Human, Material and Financial Capital)
- Outputs (including both Activities and Participation)
- Short, Medium, and Long-term Outcomes (or Impacts).
Typically, programs can easily measure the Outputs of a program by counting the number of activities, events, participants, etc.
How can I create a Logic Model?
- Involve leaders and all the relevant stakeholders in an initial polling of goals and desired outcomes
- Create a draft based on this input, perhaps using this template
- Use an iterative process with successive revisions and additions back and forth with people who deliver program activities to fill in the Activities, and with the people who participate to make sure you are capturing the breadth of the work.
- BONUS: Consider phrasing the short term outcomes in a way that it is obvious how they can be measured, for instance through surveys or online analytics. I mention this as most of your next steps will be to figure out how you collect data that can shed light on how your program is resulting in desired outputs. (A follow-up activity on this is forthcoming)
- Continue until the final version represents a shared vision of the activities and outcomes that can also be measured feasibly, and can fit neatly on one page :)
- This activity was excerpted from a longer slidedeck by the University of California Davis which you can read here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1VDBLNcv2X5borew0OfHTj0Xx8h5JTK4yIt2jvfJrm0A/edit#slide=id.p1
- For more information on using logic models to evaluate learning through citizen science programs specifically, see Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s User’s Guide for Evaluating Learning Outcomes from Citizen Science.
- Also see "Key issues and new approaches for evaluating citizen science learning outcomes." Jordan, R., H.L. Ballard and T. Phillips. 2012: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/247151706_Jordan_R_C_Ballard_L_H_and_Phillips_T_B_2012_Key_issues_and_new_approaches_for_evaluating_citizen_science_learning_outcomes_Frontiers_in_Ecology_and_the_Environment_106_307-309_doi101890110280