Format: Interactive Online learning and a downloadable PDF
|University of Wisconsin Extension Online Logic Model Training|
Copyright: 2002 Board of Regents, University of Wisconsin
- Introductory audio
- Section learning objectives
- Printable section outline to help users track their progress
- Content presentation
- Activities that require us to put into practice the theory on the preceding pages.
Course Contents: Reinforcing important lessons about RBM
What is a Logic Model?
|University of Wisconsin Logic Model course - interactive puzzle|
Copyright: 2002, Board of Regents, University of Wisconsin
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More about Outcomes
More About Program Logic
It is important to note here, for those sometimes justifiably cynical about RBM who focus on complexity, that this course itself makes the point that multiple, often unplanned or unforeseen factors can affect results, not just the programme interventions. It also discusses the idea that a simple, linear logic model may not reveal enough of the factors involved in achieving results, and why more complex logic models may be needed to underpin the simple ones that we are often forced to submit to funding agencies.
|University of Wisconsin online Logic Model course, interactive exercise testing theories of action|
Copyright: 2002, Board of Regents, University of Wisconsin
CLICK image to enlarge
What does a Logic Model Look Like?
Once again, note to complexity theorists, the course makes the point that logic models need not be simplistic, linear creations, but can be useful in helping agencies and individuals understand the complexity of the systems involved in interventions.
How do I draw a Logic Model?
I can only say I agree completely. In the Results Based Management training sessions I do with donor agencies, implementing organizations and national partners, feedback suggests that 80-90% of participants were absorbed by the Logic Model development process, sometimes surprised at how often the discussions reveal previously unknown or unacknowledged differences in perception among close colleagues, about what the original problem is, what risks and assumptions they have, and what reasonable results could look like.
5 different approaches to Logic Model development
- Start with the Long-term result or Outcome, and move back through mid-term or intermediate results, to short-term results, then to the Outputs needed to achieve these, then back again to activities and finally to inputs.
- Start with the long-term desired result, but then move immediately to activities, which is often the primary interest of participants, and then testing whether these will in fact, contribute to short of mid-term results which can logically relate to the long-term result.
- Start with the Long-term result, then brainstorm all of the elements that will affect this – activities, short, mid-term results, participants, risks, then sort them out to see if participants agree on the relationships and sequence.
- Juxtapose the situation or problem with a long-term desired change or Outcome then move back through mid-term and short term results necessary to get there, and finally to participants, activities and resources required. This looks similar to the first option, but in fact really does, in practice in groups force those with preconceptions about what the activities should be, to confront the problem clearly, to look for results and then decide what activities and resources are needed.
- A fifth approach is also listed separately, on the next screen of the course, and this is for a situation where it is necessary to start logic model development with existing resources and existing activities.
I have seen this happen where there is a second phase to a project, or where there is just too much institutional inertia to reconceptualize how to approach a problem. It is essentially an approach focusing, as I see it, on a search for results to justify what is already being done – or as the this course suggests, where an “off the shelf” programme already exists: Ask about an existing programme why each activity exists, what possible changes it can lead to, and how this can relate to a newly identified problem.
This approach is sometimes necessary, in my experience, when working on RBM with universities, where activities such as degree course work and research are accepted as the core of university activities, and therefore the starting point for interventions. It can also be necessary with some government agencies which also sometimes see every problem through the paradigm of their own mandate and existing expertise.
Moving such institutions towards a genuine questioning of what is really likely to achieve results is sometimes quite difficult.
How Good is my Logic Model?
- Getting lost in the RBM terminology,
- Focusing too much on the mechanical aspects of putting activities and results in boxes, without assessing the plausibility of the connections between activities and results,
- Focusing on – or complaining about – linearity, rather than exploring the complexities that some Logic Model formats can reveal,
- Confusing the development of a Logic Model with evaluation, (for which it can indeed be a useful tool, but to which its utility is not limited)
- Perceiving the Logic Model as a panacea for programme or project design or implementation problems, rather than as a tool to help us find possible solutions to such problems,
- Focusing on production of the paper product, but never using it in practice.
Using Logic Models in Evaluation - Indicators and Measures
- The quality of inputs and completed activities (Outputs),
- Who is participating, and what is the reach of the activities,
- Assumptions underlying programme design, and selection of activities,
- Whether results are actually achieved, and to what extent they can be reasonably attributed to the intervention, and
- External factors –including what many agencies refer to as risk - on the achievement of results, or the failure to achieve results.
- Needs assessments (assessing the original problem, and what can be done about it),
- Process evaluations (assessment of inputs and the quality of activities)
- Outcome and Impact evaluations (whether changes occurred and to what extent programme or project activities, and also external factors, may have contributed to such change).
Glossaries and references on logic model development, RBM and evaluation
- The useful glossary of terms related to results-based management, evaluation, data collection and data analysis. Plain language definitons for 61 terms are provided, and this can be accessed on every page of the online course from the upper right side of each screen, or from the PDF on pages 207-211.
- The bibliography of references related to results based management and evaluation can also be reached by clicking on “resources” at the top of each screen or on pages 212-216 of the PDF. The bibliography includes 72 references, 8 of which have clickable links that still appear to be functional. Most of the 72 articles or references were written between 1994-2003, but it is worthwhile in particular visiting the Centers for Disease Control evaluation resources page which has a lot of very useful, accessible, and in some cases more current, guides on evaluation, logic models and data collection. The link in the bibliography is not current, but the page will automatically redirect to the new location, which I have provided in the previous sentence.
- 11 additional links on evaluation issues such as questionnaire design, surveys, focus groups, quasi-experimental design and other issues can be found throughout section 7 online, or on page199 of the PDF.
- Finally, the course also provides links to 15 downloadable logic model worksheets or hints, in PDF and sometimes Microsoft Word format, also under “resources” at the top of each page. These can also be found scattered throughout the PDF document.
Alternative provided: Users can download the 216 page PDF version of the course, which includes the text of the whole course.
2. Flash is used for the most compelling of the interactive features, such as drag and drop creation of logic models – and this, as I understand it, is unlikely to work for people using Apple products. Most of the people I work with used Windows-based computers, and have the flash player installed, so this might not be a major problem, but the flash has to be enabled, and some people, and some network administrators, do disable it for security purposes. The website provides a link to the free download of the flash player, from Adobe. Similarly popup screens and forms provide a wealth of additional detail in every section, and some web browsers may require users to enable these through security settings.
Alternative provided: The creators of the site provide an alternative to the use of flash, with some interactive elements, using links. It is not as compelling from a learning point of view as using the flash elements, but it does permit some interaction.
3. The audio portions of the presentation use the “.ram” audio format, and a download of either RealPlayer or one of the alternatives such as VLC player is required to listen.
Alternative provided: When I first came across this course, in 2008, there was, essentially just the online version but in 2010 the PDF version was produced and it is a useful reference. Some of the links in the document are out of date, but many more of them still work, and they are themselves quite useful.