Logic Models

An articulation of how a program/ intervention intends to work.

What is a logic model?

  • Foundational work before an evaluation plan to understand a program.
  • Illustrates program components to clearly identify outcomes, inputs and activities.
  • Shows at-a-glance how a program is designed to work.
  • Can take on more than one visual format.
  • If - then statements: “If we do this, then this should happen”
  • Can be made at different levels: Organizational, Department or Initiatives, Program level
It can also be referred to as a theory of change, model of change, conceptual map, pathway map, blueprint for change, action framework, program theory, chain of causation, etc.

Why use a logic model?

Logic models can be used for:
  • Program Design
  • Evaluation planning
  • Consensus-building
  • Communication
  • Fundraising/grant writing
  • Performance monitoring
  • Organizational/stakeholder alignment


The components of a logic model are listed below:
Current Situational Assessment: A description of the problem or state of affairs the program seeks to address
Priority Area: The intended aim or impact over the life of a program. The wicked problem that your intervention aims to address
Rationales: Why will a program activity produce results?
Assumptions: What factors and necessary for program success are already in place?
Resources (Inputs): People, time, materials, funds, etc. dedicated to or consumed by a program
Activities: The actions a program takes to achieve desired results
Outputs: The tangible, direct products of program activities
  • Direct and measurable products
  • Often expressed in volume or units delivered
Outcomes: The changes expected to result from the program – changes among clients, communities, systems or organizations. Outcomes may be intended or unintended, and are often the result of several activities and outputs and can occur at various layers. For example:
  • Client-focused: Startup founders are better prepared to market new products (Knowledge, Attitudes, Behaviours)
  • Family or Community: Improved communication within community of practice. Higher percentage of families engaging in healthy eating behaviours.
  • Organizational: Increase efficiencies, Increased collaboration with other organizations
  • Systemic: Integrated system of services or interagency resource sharing
Short, Intermediate, Long-Term Outcomes:
  • Short-term Outcomes: knowledge and learning
    • Closer in time (proximal, leading)
    • Easier to measure
    • More attributable to program
  • Intermediate-term Outcomes: attitudes, behaviours
  • Long-term Outcomes: conditions
    • More distant in time (lagging)
    • Harder to measure
    • Less attributable to programs
Impact: Ultimate, longer term, systemic change to the status quo
External Factors: Other influences on program results and circumstances beyond program control that may affect outcomes
Evaluation Stream: The measures and metrics that track the process and outcomes throughout the program
Example of a logic model template. Source: MaRS

Reviewing and iterating on your logic model

Key questions to ask;
  • Are there sufficient resources to implement your program?
  • Have you included all the major activities needed to implement your program?
  • Does the chain of causation (that is: activities, outputs, short- mid- and long-term outcomes) relate to one another logically?

Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Performance and Evaluation Office. Logic Models https://www.cdc.gov/eval/logicmodels