Using a Logic Model as a Strategic Planning Tool|Course hero helper

Posted: March 3rd, 2023

5340: U8 D1 Using a Logic Model as a Strategic Planning Tool

In your readings for this week, Watson and Hoefer (2014) provide a general overview of using logic models to define a problem and identify inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes.

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In your initial post, discuss how application of a logic model would be different for a small nonprofit organization, a large federal agency, or the development of a policy for a specific human service program. How would the leader for each of these organizations engage the participants in the process? Cite examples from the reading.

Note: Must me a minimum of 250 words and 1 Scholarly Journal


Nonprofit administrators both develop and evaluate programs. A logic model is useful for both, even though development happens before the program begins and evaluation happens after it has been in operation. A good evaluation, however, is planned at the same time that the program is designed so that necessary data is collected along the way, rather than annually or after the program finishes. This chapter first describes the process of logic modeling using an example of the logic model. Then, it discusses how to use the logic model to plan an evaluation.


The idea of logic models as an adjunct to program evaluation extends at least as far back as 2000 when the Kellogg Foundation published a guide to developing logic models for program design and evaluation. According to Frechtling (2007), a logic model is “a tool that describes the theory of change underlying an intervention, product or policy” (p. 1). While one can find many variations on how a logic model should be constructed, it is a versatile tool that is used to design programs, assist in their implementation, and guide their evaluation. This chapter describes one basic approach to logic modeling for program evaluation and links the planning and evaluation aspects of human service administration.

You should understand that not all programs have been designed with the aid of a logic model, although that is becoming less common every year. Federal grants, for example, often require applicants to submit a logic model, and their use throughout the human services sec- tor is growing through academic education and in-service training. If there is no logic model for a program you are working with, it is possible to create one after a program has been implemented. You can thus bring the power of the tool to bear when changing a program or creating an evaluation plan.

Logic model terminology uses system theory terminology. Because logic models are said to describe the program’s “theory of change,” it is possible to believe that this refers to something such as social learning theory, cognitive-behavioral theory, or any one of a number of psycho- logical or sociological theories. In general, though, logic models have a much less grand view of theory. We begin with the assumption that any human services program is created to solve a problem. The problem should be clearly stated in a way that does not predetermine how the problem will be solved. The utility of a logic model is in showing how the resources used (inputs) are changed into a program (activities) with closely linked products (outputs) that

7Logic Models and Program Evaluation




The application of a logic model can differ based on the size and scope of an organization and the type of program they are developing. For example, a small nonprofit organization may have limited resources, so their logic model may focus on identifying inputs that are readily available, such as volunteer time and community donations. In contrast, a large federal agency may have more resources available, allowing them to incorporate more complex inputs and activities into their logic model. Similarly, the development of a policy for a specific human service program may require a more in-depth analysis of the problem and the inputs needed to address it. The logic model for such a policy would need to consider various stakeholders, including policymakers, service providers, and clients, and identify the inputs and activities required to achieve the desired outcomes.


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