The logic model is a general framework for describing work in an organization. Since work is often packaged in programs, it is often referred to as the program logic model. In its simplest form, the logic model analyzes work into four categories or steps: inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes. These represent the logical flow from:
1. inputs (resources such as money, employees, and equipment) to
2. work activities, programs or processes, to
3. the immediate outputs of the work that are delivered to customers, to
4. outcomes or results that are the long-term consequences of delivering outputs.
The basic logic model typically is displayed in a diagram such as this:
INPUTS –> ACTIVITIES OR PROCESSES –> OUTPUTS –> OUTCOMES
By describing work in this way, managers have an easier way to define the work and measure it. Performance measures can be drawn from any of the steps. One of the key insights of the logic model is the importance of measuring final outcomes or results, because it is quite possible to waste time and money (inputs), “spin the wheels” on work activities, or produce outputs without achieving desired outcomes. It is these outcomes (impacts, long-term results) that are the only justification for doing the work in the first place. For commercial organizations, outcomes relate to profit. For not-for-profit or governmental organizations, outcomes relate to successful achievement of mission or program goals.
The Program Action Logic Model, includes six steps:
• Inputs (what we invest)
o Activities (the actual tasks we do)
o Participation (who we serve; customers & stakeholders)
• Outcomes – Impacts
• Short Term (learning: awareness, knowledge, skills, motivations)
• Medium Term (action: behavior, practice, decisions, policies)
• Long Term (consequences: social, economic, environmental etc.)
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