The Logic Model
A Planning Tool
Careful planning is the key to a successful IPM program, and to its evaluation.
- The Logic Model provides a useful framework for program planning.
- The Logic Model has been adopted by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) as the planning tool of choice, and is a required component of some grant program applications
The Logic Model provides a template for describing what resources go into a program (inputs), who will participate, the activities (outputs), and what we hope to achieve (outcomes and impacts). It can also be used to analyze program assumptions and external factors that can influence success.
A good logic model demonstrates a clear linkage between the Situation, Participants, Outputs and Outcomes. In other words, if the Outputs are delivered to the identified target audience, there is a good probability of addressing the identified needs and achieving the desired outcomes.
More Terminology And Examples
An Output is not an Outcome. Outputs are activities, services, events or products that you develop, such as the ways you transfer information or promote adoption of an IPM practice.
Outcomes are the results or changes among individuals, groups, communities, systems or society that may be influenced by your outputs.
- Short-term Outcomes are related to Learning: Changes in awareness, knowledge, attitude, skills, opinions, aspirations, and motivations of the target audience. Example: Learning a new IPM monitoring technique.
- Medium-term Outcomes are related to Actions: Behaviors, practices, decisions made, polices affected, or social actions taken by members of the target audience. Example: Adopting a new IPM monitoring technique into routine practice.
- Long-term Outcomes, also called Impacts, are related to Conditions: Economic, environmental, human health or societal conditions that may ultimately change as a result of actions taken by end-users in the medium-term. Example: Growers save $5,000 annually after adopting a new IPM monitoring technique into routine practice.
Impacts: use of some of these terms can vary. For example, the IPM.gov website refers to all levels of outcomes as “Impacts”. But a true impact in the Logic Model sense is usually something that happens beyond the scale of an individual.
Lists of example outcomes that can be used in Logic Models for IPM have been developed, including possible measures for short-, medium- and long-term outcomes / impacts. Examples span IPM for agricultural, residential and recreational environments.
How To Develop A Logic Model
“Begin with the end in mind.” -- Stephen Covey
The best way to develop a Logic Model is to identify the outcomes you would like to achieve with your grant or project. This can include any combination of changes in knowledge (short-term outcomes), changes in behavior (medium-term outcomes) and changes in condition (long-term outcomes, often called “impacts”) appropriate to a project. Note that many grants may span only one or two years, while long-term impacts could take longer to achieve. Be realistic.
- First describe the situation or stakeholder needs that your project will address. For example, there is a need to develop economic thresholds for a certain pest. These needs should be closely related to the desired outcomes you will develop. Presumably, these elements also would be included in the justification section of the grant proposal.
- Start completing a Logic Model Template (see bullets below) by filling in the short-term, medium-term and long-term outcome columns on the right side. The format that you select will be dictated by the grant program.
- Work your way from right to left across the Logic Model, next identifying the participants your project will reach and the activities or outputs you will engage in in order to achieve the desired outcomes.
- Typical outputs examples include a workshop, website, IPM guidelines, training, or the development of new research knowledge needed to address a problem.
- Outputs should not be confused with outcomes, which are changes made, for example, by the end users of IPM (short and medium term) or changes in economic, societal, or environmental conditions as a result of these activities (long term).
- Finally, identify the inputs, the resources you need to complete the project. This includes funds you may be requesting from a grant program plus any leveraged resources, time of the people involved, partner organizations, etc.
Many resources related to developing Logic Models are available (see Logic Model Resources section of this module). Our focus in Module 1 is to relate the elements of the Logic Model to developing your evaluation plan.
Logic Model Resources are available on the Resources page of this module
List of Logic Model Templates Univerisity of Wisconsin
Lisa Wyatt Knowlton. 2013. The Logic Model Guidebook: Better Strategies for Great Results. Second Edition. Sage. Thousand Oaks, CA.