The Logic Model Guidebook: Better Strategies for Great Results

Authors Lisa Wyatt Knowlton (Ed.D.) and Cynthia C. Phillips (Ph.D.) Published October 2008. Available on Amazon.  Recommended by Jim Rugh

Excerpt: “We approach logic models as important thinking and inquiry tools, and logic modeling as a process that contributes to clarity about a sequence of interactive relationships. Logic models display relationships of many kinds: between resources and activities, activities and outcomes, outcomes and impact. This display provides an opportunity to review critically the logic of these relationships and their content. Are the underlying assumptions, choices, and relationships sensible, plausible, feasible, measurable? Logic models assist strategy and contribute to performance management through discovery of the most effective means to a specific results… The modeling process includes a cycle of display, review, analysis, critique and revision to improve the model. These actions steps, tackled with colleagues or stakeholders, can contribute significantly to more informed displays and, ultimately, more successful programs and projects.

Logic models are a graphic way to organize information and display thinking. They are a visual approach to the implicit maps we all carry in our minds about how the world does or should work. Logic models are tools that convey a scheme, program, or project in a brief, visual format. Logic models describe planned action and is expected results. A model is snapshot of an individual’s or group’s current thinking about how their idea or program might work.

They complement systems thinking as a tool and technique for achieving valid but simplified representations of real-world complexities. Common synonyms for logic models include idea maps, rich pictures, action maps, and mental models. Although logical frameworks (logframes) and causal loop diagrams (systems dynamics) are used for purposes similar to logic models, they are fundamentally different but complementary tools.

A theory of change model is simply a general representation of how you believe change will occur. A program logic model details resources, planned activities, and their outputs and outcomes over time that reflect intended results.”

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