thin blue line
Date of Publication: December 2000 CYFERNet For Professionals

Section 2: Developing/Assessing Logic Models

Key Points & Introduction

Thin Magenta Line
Previous Page Home Next Page
Thin Magenta Line

Key Points

  • Logic models are graphical representations of the theory underlying a program.
    They assist the evaluator in identifying program objectives and activities, and the
    linkages between them.
  • Logic models can be used for both primary and secondary prevention programs. They can be helpful not only in the beginning phases of an evaluation, but also in the initial and ongoing changes of the program.
  • To develop a logic model, the evaluator must identify desired program outcomes, specify program activities, and specify characteristics of the target population.

This section describes logic models, what they are, and how to build them. A logic model is a graphic representation of the theory that underlies a program's goals. Logic models are used in identifying program objectives, activities, and expected outcomes, and in finding the linkages between them. They can be used in both program development and the early phase of program evaluation.

Throughout this section, the evaluator should refer to three figures. Figure 2.1 is an example of a logic model that was developed for an existing prevention program being used by USAF-FAP: the New Parent Support Program (NPSP). The graphic model was developed primarily on the basis of program documentation, and then elaborated on by program staff. Logic models are most useful for complex, multi-step programs with outcomes that are measured at several different points. However, logic models can also be used in primary prevention programs. In Figure 2.2, a preliminary and hypothetical logic model that could be applied to a primary prevention program is provided, such as a class for parents of young children. While it is not as complex as Figure 2.1, Figure 2.2 demonstrates that logic models are useful even with less complex programs. Indeed, they are often quite useful in planning stages when efforts are being made to operationalize program goals and activities. Figure 2.3 is a blank model that can be photocopied and used to describe the program under evaluation.

For each of the major components, sample worksheets are provided that are designed to help the evaluator identify program specifics. There are copies of these in the appendix of this section that can be photocopied and used while developing a model. The worksheets provide more detail than will actually be needed for a graphic model. But this level of detail will help the evaluator conceptualize the program more fully. Once this information has been summarized on the worksheets, the evaluator can transfer it to the blank logic model in Figure 2.3.

Figure 2.1

Figure 2.2

Figure 2.3

Thin Magenta Line
Previous Page Home Next Page
Thin Magenta Line