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Should the information become overly complex, it is possible to create a family of related models, or nested models, each capturing a different level of detail. One model could sketch out the broad pathways of change, whereas others could elaborate on separate components, revealing detailed information about how the program operates on a deeper level. Individually, each model conveys only essential information, and together they provide a more complete overview of how the program or initiative functions. See "How do you create a logic model? Imagine "zooming-in" on the inner workings of a specific component and creating another, more detailed model just for that part.

For a complex initiative, you may choose to develop an entire family of such related models that display how each part of the effort works, as well as how all the parts fit together. In the end, you may have some or all of the following family of models, each one differing in scope:. Families, Nesting, and Zooming-In In the Examples section, the idea of nested models is illustrated in the Tobacco Control family of models.

It includes a global model that encompasses three intermediate outcomes in tobacco control - environments without tobacco smoke, reduced smoking initiation among youth, and increased cessation among youth and adults. Then a zoom-in model is elaborated for each one of these intermediate outcomes. The Comprehensive Cancer model illustrates a generic logic model accompanied by a zoom-in on the activities to give program staff the specific details they need. Notably, the intended effects on the zoom-in are identical to those on the global model and all major categories of activities are also apparent.

But the zoom in unpacks these activities into their detailed components and, more important, indicates that the activities achieve their effects by influencing intermediaries who then move gatekeepers to take action. This level of detail is necessary for program staff, but it may be too much for discussions with funders and stakeholders.

The Diabetes Control model is another good example of a family of models.


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In this case, the zoom in models are very similar to the global model in level of detail. They add value by translating the global model into a plan for specific actors in this case a state diabetes control program or for specific objectives e.. Logic models are useful for both new and existing programs and initiatives. If your effort is being planned, a logic model can help get it off to a good start.

Alternatively, if your program is already under way, a model can help you describe, modify or enhance it. Planners, program managers, trainers, evaluators, advocates and other stakeholders can use a logic model in several ways throughout an initiative. One model may serve more than one purpose, or it may be necessary to create different versions tailored for different aims.

Here are examples of the various times that a logic model could be used. There is no single way to create a logic model. Think of it as something to be used, its form and content governed by the users' needs. Who creates the model? This depends on your situation. The same people who will use the model - planners, program managers, trainers, evaluators, advocates and other stakeholders - can help create it. For practical reasons, though, you will probably start with a core group, and then take the working draft to others for continued refinement. Remember that your logic model is a living document, one that tells the story of your efforts in the community.

As your strategy changes, so should the model. On the other hand, while developing the model you might see new pathways that are worth exploring in real life. Two main development strategies are usually combined when constructing a logic model. At first, you may not agree with the answers that certain stakeholders give for these questions. Their logic may not seem convincing or even logical.

But therein lies the power of logic modeling. By making each stakeholder's thinking visible on paper, you can decide as a group whether the logic driving your initiative seems reasonable. You can talk about it, clarify misinterpretations, ask for other opinions, check the assumptions, compare them with research findings, and in the end develop a solid system of program logic.

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This product then becomes a powerful tool for planning, implementation, orientation, evaluation, and advocacy, as described above. By now you have probably guessed that there is not a rigid step-by-step process for developing a logic model. Like the rest of community work, logic modeling is an ongoing process. Nevertheless, there are a few tasks you should be sure to accomplish. It does this through a combination of educating community residents, organizing the neighborhood, and building relationships with partners such as businesses. Dramatic actions in the HOME initiative include offering educational sessions and forming business alliances, homeowner support groups, and a neighborhood organizing council.

At evaluation time, each of these actions is closely connected to output indicators that document whether the program is on track and how fast it is moving. These outputs could be the number of educational sessions held, their average attendance, the size of the business alliance, etc. These outputs are not depicted in the global model, but that could be done if valuable for users. The more complete your model, the better your chances of reaching "the promised land" of the story. In order to tell a complete story or present a complete picture in your model, make sure to consider all forces of change root causes, trends, and system dynamics.

Does your model reveal assumptions and hypotheses about the root causes and feedback loops that contribute to problems and their solutions? In the HOME model, for instance, low home ownership persists when there is a vicious cycle of discrimination, bad credit, and hopelessness preventing neighborhood-wide organizing and social change. Three pathways of change were proposed to break that cycle: education; business reform; and neighborhood organizing. Building a model on one pathway to address only one force would limit the program's effectiveness. You can discover forces of change in your situation using multiple assessment strategies, including forward logic and reverse logic as described above.

When exploring forces of change, be sure to search for personal factors knowledge, belief, skills as well as environmental factors barriers, opportunities, support, incentives that keep the situation the same as well as ones that push for it to change. After you've mapped out the structure of a program strategy, there is still another crucial step to take before taking action: some kind of simulation. As logical as the story you are telling seems to you, as a plan for intervention it runs the risk of failure if you haven't explored how things might turn out in the real world of feedback and resistance.

Simulation is one of the most practical ways to find out if a seemingly sensible plan will actually play out as you hope. Simulation is not the same as testing a model with stakeholders to see if it makes logical sense. The point of a simulation is to see how things will change - how the system will behave - through time and under different conditions.

Though simulation is a powerful tool, it can be conducted in ways ranging from the simple to the sophisticated. The key point to remember is that creating logical models and simulating how those models will behave involve two different sets of skills, both of which are essential for discovering which change strategies will be effective in your community.

You can probably envision a variety of ways in which you might use the logic model you've developed or that logic modeling would benefit your work. In a coalition or collaborative partnership, the logic model makes it clear which effects each partner creates and how all those effects converge to a common goal. The family or nesting approach works well in a collaborative partnership because a model can be developed for each objective along a sequence of effects, thereby showing layers of contributions and points of intersection.

Any tool this powerful must not be approached lightly. When you undertake the task of developing a logic model, be aware of the following challenges and limitations. First, no matter how logical your model seems, there is always a danger that it will not be correct. The world sometimes works in surprising, counter-intuitive ways, which means we may not comprehend the logic of change until after the fact.

With this in mind, modelers will appreciate the fact that the real effects of intervention actions could differ from the intended effects. Certain actions might even make problems worse, so it's important to keep one eye on the plan and another focused on the real-life experiences of community members. If nothing else, a logic model ought to be logical. Therein lies its strength and its weakness. Those who are trying to follow your logic will magnify any inconsistency or inaccuracy. This places a high burden on modelers to pay attention to detail and refine their own thinking to great degree.

Of course, no model can be perfect. You'll have to decide on the basis of stakeholders' uses what level of precision is required. Establishing the appropriate boundaries of a logic model can be a difficult challenge. In most cases, there is a tension between focusing on a specific program and situating that effort within its broader context. Many models seem to suggest that the only forces of change come from within the program in question, as if there is only one child in the sandbox. At the other extreme, it would be ridiculous and unproductive to map all the simultaneous forces of change that affect health and community development.

A modeler's challenge is to include enough depth so the organizational context is clear, without losing sight of the reasons for developing a logic model in the first place. On a purely practical level, logic modeling can also be time consuming, requiring much energy in the beginning and continued attention throughout the life of an initiative.

The process can demand a high degree of specificity; it risks oversimplifying complex relationships and relies on the skills of graphic artists to convey complex thought processes. Indeed, logic models can be very difficult to create, but the process of creating them, as well as the product, will yield many benefits over the course of an initiative. A logic model is a story or picture of how an effort or initiative is supposed to work. The process of developing the model brings together stakeholders to articulate the goals of the program and the values that support it, and to identify strategies and desired outcomes of the initiative.

As a means to communicate a program visually, within your coalition or work group and to external audiences, a logic model provides a common language and reference point for everyone involved in the initiative. A logic model is useful for planning, implementing and evaluating an initiative.

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It helps stakeholders agree on short-term as well as long-term objectives during the planning process, outline activities and actors, and establish clear criteria for evaluation during the effort. When the initiative ends, it provides a framework for assessing overall effectiveness of the initiative, as well as the activities, resources, and external factors that played a role in the outcome. To develop a model, you will probably use both forward and reverse logic. Working backwards, you begin with the desired outcomes and then identify the strategies and resources that will accomplish them. Combining this with forward logic, you will choose certain steps to produce the desired effects.

You will probably revise the model periodically, and that is precisely one advantage to using a logic model. Because it relates program activities to their effect, it helps keep stakeholders focused on achieving outcomes, while it remains flexible and open to finding the best means to enact a unique story of change. A concise definition by Connie C. Schmitz and Beverly A. Logic Model Magic Tutorial from the CDC - this tutorial will provide you with information and resources to assist you as you plan and develop a logic model to describe your program and help guide program evaluation.

You will have opportunities to interact with the material, and you can proceed at your own pace, reviewing where you need to or skipping to sections of your choice. The U. The W. American Cancer Society Stating outcomes for American Cancer Society programs: a handbook for volunteers and staff. Julian, D. The utilization of the logic model as a system level planning and evaluation device. McEwan, K. Using a logic model to focus health services on population health goals.

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Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation 12 1 : McLaughlin, J. Logic models: a tool for telling your program's performance story. Moyer, A. Facilitating the shift to population-based public health programs: innovation through the use of framework and logic model tools. Rush, B.


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Program logic models: expanding their role and structure for program planning and evaluation. Taylor-Powell, E. Evaluating collaboratives: reaching the potential. United Way of America Measuring program outcomes: a practical approach. Western Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies. Wong-Reiger, D. Using program logic models to plan and evaluate education and prevention programs. Evaluation Methods Sourcebook II. Ottawa, Ontario, Canadian Evaluation Society.

Skip to main content. Toggle navigation Navigation. Chapter 2. Chapter 2 Sections Section 1. Asset Development Section 5. Collective Impact Section 6. Communities That Care Section 9. Community Readiness Section The Strategic Prevention Framework Section Health Impact Assessment Section Building Compassionate Communities Section The Tool Box needs your help to remain available.

Toggle navigation Chapter Sections. Section 1. Learn how to create and use a logic model, a visual representation of your initiative's activities, outputs, and expected outcomes. What is a logic model? When can a logic model be used? How do you create a logic model? What makes a logic model effective? What are the benefits and limitations of logic modeling? Some other names include: road map, conceptual map, or pathways map mental model blueprint for change framework for action or program framework program theory or program hypothesis theoretical underpinning or rationale causal chain or chain of causation theory of change or model of change Each mapping or modeling technique uses a slightly different approach, but they all rest on a foundation of logic - specifically, the logic of how change happens.

A word about logic The word "logic" has many definitions. The logic in logic modeling Like a road map, a logic model shows the route traveled or steps taken to reach a certain destination. What motivates the need for change? This can also be expressed as the problems or opportunities that the program is addressing. For On Track, the community focused advocates on the mission of enhancing healthy youth development to improve the high-school dropout rate. Context , or conditions.

What is the climate in which change will take place? How will new policies and programs for On Track be aligned with existing ones? What trends compete with the effort to engage youth in positive activities? What is the political and economic climate for investing in youth development? Inputs , or resources or infrastructure. What raw materials will be used to conduct the effort or initiative? In On Track, these materials are coordinator and volunteers in the mentoring program, agreements with participating school districts, and the endorsement of parent groups and community agencies.

Inputs can also include constraints on the program, such as regulations or funding gaps, which are barriers to your objectives.

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Activities , or interventions. What will the initiative do with its resources to direct the course of change? In our example, the program will train volunteer mentors and refer young people who might benefit from a mentor. Your intervention, and thus your logic model, should be guided by a clear analysis of risk and protective factors. What evidence is there that the activities were performed as planned? Indicators might include the number of mentors trained and youth referred, and the frequency, type, duration, and intensity of mentoring contacts.

Effects , or results, consequences, outcomes, or impacts. What kinds of changes came about as a direct or indirect effect of the activities? Two examples are bonding between adult mentors and youth and increased self-esteem among youth. Short-term or immediate effects. In the On Track example, this would be that young people who participate in mentoring improve their self-confidence and understand the importance of staying in school.

Mid-term or intermediate effects. Mentored students improve their grades and remain in school.

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Longer-term or ultimate effects. High school graduation rates rise, thus giving graduates more employment opportunities, greater financial stability, and improved health status. Here are two important notes about constructing and refining logic models. Outcome or Impact? For good or for ill? Choosing the right level of detail: the importance of utility and simplicity It may help at this point to consider what a logic model is not. In the end, you may have some or all of the following family of models, each one differing in scope: View from Outer Space. This overall road map shows the major pathways of change and the full spectrum of effects.

This view answers questions such s: Do the activities follow a single pathway, or are there separate pathways that converge down the line? How far does the chain of effects go? How do our program activities align with those of other organizations? What other forces might influence the effects that we hope to see? Where can we anticipate feedback loops and in what direction will they travel?

Are there significant time delays between any of the connections? View from the Mountaintop. This closer view focuses on a specific component or set of components, yet it is still broad enough to describe the infrastructure, activities, and full sequence of effects. This view answers the same questions as the view from outer space, but with respect to just the selected component s. You Are Here. This view expands on a particular part of the sequence, such as the roles of different stakeholders, staff, or agencies in a coalition, and functions like a flow chart for someone's work plan.

It is a specific model that outlines routine processes and anticipated effects. This is the view that you might need to understand quality control within the initiative. Moving forward from the activities also known as forward logic. This approach explores the rationale for activities that are proposed or currently under way.

It is driven by But why? But why do we need them to better understand the issues affecting kids? But why would they create policies and programs to support mentoring? But why would new policies make a difference? That same line of reasoning could also be uncovered using if-then statements: If we focus on briefing legislators, then they will better understand the issues affecting kids. If legislators understand, then they will enact new policies Moving backward from the effects also known as reverse logic.

This approach begins with the end in mind. It starts with a clearly identified value, a change that you and your colleagues would definitely like to see occur, and asks a series of "But how? But how can we ensure our services are culturally competent? But how can we admit that we don't already know what we're doing? Steps for drafting a logic model Find the logic in existing written materials to produce your first draft. Available written materials often contain more than enough information to get started.

Collect narrative descriptions, justifications, grant applications, or overview documents that explain the basic idea behind the intervention effort. If your venture involves a coalition of several organizations, be sure to get descriptions from each agency's point of view. For the HOME campaign, we collected documents from planners who proposed the idea, as well as mortgage companies, homeowner associations, and other neighborhood organizations. Your job as a logic modeler is to decode these documents. Keep a piece of paper by your side and sketch out the logical links as you find them.

This work can be done in a group to save time and engage more people if you prefer.

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Provide deliverers with an open communication channel to better monitor and control program delivery, seek support, and provide feedback. Genuinely consider this programmatic feedback. Consider the 14 Program design and delivery principles when designing a new program or reviewing an existing program for secondary schools. Objectives of the program are negotiated, agreed to, shared and communicated between the funding body, school and sport. Program administration is clear, comprehensive and consistent, and utilises open and effective communication channels.

Use the 14 Pre-Program Questions to support this communication see full report. School sport culture and perceptions of sport are considered in the design and delivery of the program. Program design and delivery is innovative to overcome entrenched barriers experienced by the student, teacher, school or community. Student-centric program design is applied and incorporates empathetic delivery based on an understanding of student motivations and influences. Skill building and developing mental resilience are dually incorporated in the program design. Opportunities to connect with the local community and sport clubs are provided to encourage transition from school-based to community-based sport participation.

Three program elements are offered either within a single program or as three separate offerings and include: activities based on building fitness and confidence; a modified social competition; a traditional sport program based on building and refining skills and game play. Program cohort is divided by skill level for sports with an emphasis on competition, either in their traditional or programmatic format for specific activities, sessions or days.

A skilled deliverer conducts the program and receives support from their sporting organisation to modify activities and program delivery based on the needs of the school and student cohort. Full report: Addressing the decline in sport participation in secondary schools. Alternatively, you can read the Addressing the decline in sport participation in secondary schools executive summary. Home Youth Participation. Previous Overview Barriers and motivation Overcoming barriers Engagement strategies.