Guidelines and Framework for Designing Basic Logic Model

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    Guidelines and Framework for Designing Basic Logic Model

    © Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

    Much of the content
    of this topic came from this book:
    Nonprofit Programs - Book Cover

    Sections of This Topic Include

    Overview of a Logic Model

    Definitions of Basic Terms

    Basic Examples of a Logic Model

    Additional Perspectives on Logic Models

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    Overview of a Logic Model

    The following framework can be filled in by readers to design
    a logic model (or diagram) for their organization and for each
    of its programs. Guidelines and examples are provided to help
    the reader. This logic model is referenced from the Basic Guide to Outcomes-Based Evaluation for
    Nonprofit Organizations With Very Limited Resources

    Purpose of a Logic Model

    A logic model is a top-level depiction the flow of
    materials and processes to produce the results desired by the
    organization or program. The model can be very useful to organize
    planning and analysis when designing the organization and its
    programs or when designing outcomes-based evaluations of programs.
    It can also be useful for describing organizations and programs
    (for example, in grant proposals).

    What to Include and What Not to Include

    Logic models can be in regard to whatever application in which
    the designer chooses to use them. However, when using logic models
    to analyze or describe organizations and programs, it’s often
    best to use logic models to depict major, recurring items in the
    organization or programs — rather than one-time items. For example,
    you might not choose to do a logic model for the one-time, initial
    activities to build an organization or program (constructing the
    building, registering with state and federal authorities, etc.).
    However, you might benefit more from using logic models to analyze
    and describe the major, recurring activities that occur in the
    organization or program (once they’re built) to continue to produce
    the results desired for clients and the community.

    Size and Level of Detail

    The logic model should be of a size that readers can
    easily study the model without extensive reference and cross-comparisons
    between pages. Ideally, the logic model is one or at most two
    pages long. The level of detail should be sufficient for the reader
    to grasp the major items that go into an organization or program,
    what occurs to those inputs, the various outputs that results
    and the overall benefits/impacts (or outcomes) that occur and to
    which groups of people.

    Note the content of program logic models is often more
    specific than models for organizations. This level of specificity
    is often quite useful for program planners.

    Definitions of Basic Terms

    Logic models typically depict the inputs, processes,
    outputs and outcomes associated with an organization and its programs.
    Don’t be concerned about your grasping the “correct”
    definition of each of the following terms. It’s more important
    to have some sense of what they mean — and even more important
    to be consistent in your use of the terms.


    These are materials that the organization or program takes
    in and then processes to produce the results desired by the organization.
    Types of inputs are people, money, equipment, facilities, supplies,
    people’s ideas, people’s time, etc. Inputs can also be major forces
    that influence the organization or programs. For example, the
    inputs to a nonprofit program that provides training to clients
    might include learners, training materials, teachers, classrooms,
    funding, paper and pencils, etc. Various laws and regulations
    effect how the program is conducted, for example, safety regulations,
    Equal Opportunity Employment guidelines, etc. Inputs are often
    associated with a cost to obtain and use the item — budgets are
    listings of inputs and the costs to obtain and/or use them.

    Processes (or Activities or Strategies or Methods)

    Processes are used by the organization or program to manipulate
    and arrange items to produce the results desired by the organization
    or program. Processes can range from putting a piece of paper
    on a desk to manufacturing a space shuttle. However, logic models
    are usually only concerned with the major recurring processes
    associated with producing the results desired by the organization
    or program. For example, the major processes used by a nonprofit
    program that provides training to clients might include recruitment
    of learners, pretesting of learners, training, post-testing and


    Outputs are usually the tangible results of the major
    processes in the organization. They are usually accounted for
    by their number, for example, the number of students who failed
    or passed a test, courses taught, tests taken, teachers used,
    etc. Outputs are frequently misunderstood to indicate success
    of an organization or program. However, if the outputs aren’t
    directly associated with achieving the benefits desired for clients,
    then the outputs are poor indicators of the success of the organization
    and its programs. You can use many teachers, but that won’t mean
    that many clients were successfully trained.


    Outcomes are the (hopefully positive) impacts on those
    people whom the organization wanted to benefit with its programs.
    Outcomes are usually specified in terms of:
    a) learning, including enhancements to knowledge, understanding/perceptions/attitudes,
    and behaviors
    b) skills (behaviors to accomplish results, or capabilities)
    c) conditions (increased security, stability, pride, etc.)

    It’s often to specify outcomes in terms of short-term, intermediate
    and long-term.

    Basic Example of a Logic Model

    The following example is intended to further portray
    the nature of inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes.

    The logic model is for an organization called the Self-Directed
    Learning Center (SDLC).

    Logic models for programs are often more detailed. Note that the more comprehensive
    and descriptive your logic model.

    NOTE: A logic model typically has four columns, with the last
    one being about outcomes. Outcomes can be further divided into short-term, intermediate
    and long-term. For the sake of viewing on smart phones, the columns of outcomes
    are included in an additional table below.




    Free articles and other publications on the

    – Collaborators

    – Free Management Library

    – Funders

    – Self-directed learners

    – Volunteers

    – Computers

    – Web

    – Supplies

    – Provide peer-assistance models in which
    learners support each other

    – Provide free, online training program: Basics of Self-Directed Learning

    – Provide free, online training program: Basic Life Skills

    – Provide free, online training program: Passing your GED Exam

    – 30 groups that used peer models

    – 100 completed training programs

    – 900 learners who finished Basics of Self-Directed Learning

    – 900 learners who finished Basic Life Skills

    – 900 learners who passed their GED to gain high-school diploma

    Short-term outcome(s)

    Intermediate outcomes

    Long-term outcomes

    – High-school diploma for graduates

    – Increased interest to attend advanced schooling

    – Increased confidence that learner can manage formal learning programs

    – Full-time employment for learners in jobs
    that require high-school education

    – Independent living for learners from using salary to rent housing

    – Strong basic life skills for learners

    – Improved attitude toward self and society
    for graduates

    – Improved family life for families of graduates

    – Increased reliability and improved judgment of learners

    Here is a template
    for a logic model
    . You might think of a system in your work or personal
    life and diagram the system in the template.

    Additional Perspectives on Logic Models

    Logic Models (Wikipedia)

    Model Development Guide

    Model Workbook

    a Logic Model
    It Yourself Logic Models
    Components of a Logic Model
    Logic Models
    (also references many more resources)
    Theory and Logic Models

    For the Category of Evaluations (Many Kinds):

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