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Logic Model

Developing a logic model provides workforce health promotion (WHP) programs with something like a map—an idea of where the program is going, and a document to consult along the way.

A logic model is an iterative tool, providing a framework to revisit throughout program planning, implementation, and evaluation. Ideally, a logic model engages stakeholders and provides a forum to identify and consider stakeholders' differences and priorities.

A logic model can help you

  • Clarify program strategy
  • Justify program benefits
  • Build consensus among participants and stakeholders
  • Assess the potential effectiveness of a strategy
  • Identify realistic outcome targets (and avoid over promising)
  • Set priorities for allocating resources
  • Incorporate findings from research and demonstration projects
  • Make midcourse adjustments and improvements to programs
  • Identify differences between the ideal program and its real practice
  • Provide a framework for evaluation
  • Organize evidence about the program results
  • Make stakeholders accountable for program processes and outcomes
  • Build a better program

Components of a Basic Logic Model

Developing a Logic Model
There is no one correct way to create a logic model. However, the stage of development of the program (i.e., planning, implementation, or maintenance) should steer you to one of two approaches to creating your model: right-to-left or left-to-right.

Right-to-Left Logic Model
This approach, also called reverse logic, starts with desired outcomes and requires you to work backwards to develop activities and inputs. Usually used in the planning stage, this approach ensures that program activities will logically lead to the specified outcomes if your arrow bridges are well-founded. You will ask the question, "How?" as you move to the left in your logic model. This approach is also helpful for a program in the implementation stage that still has some flexibility in its program activities.

Left-to-Right Logic Model
This approach, also called forward logic, may be used to evaluate a program in the implementation or maintenance stage that does not already have a logic model. Start by articulating the program inputs and activities. To move to the right in your model, you must ask the question, "Why?" You can also think of this approach as an "If …, then …" progression.

Example of a WHP Logic Models
The logic model for your WHP program may illustrate details about an activity that is part of a larger program or show the interactions between all programs in your organization. Multiple logic models can represent different levels of the same program or, for large employers, might be developed for each specific workplace location. Your logic model is a work in progress. Throughout the planning and refining of your program and your evaluation, the logic model will probably need to be revised as well. Use it to identify the activities and outcomes that must be evaluated to keep your program on track.

Healthier Worksite Initiative developed a logic model as part of its program development. This logic model is just an example; it is important that each WHP program logic model be unique, given the employer, organizational culture, and work setting.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1999). Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health. MMWR [online], 48(No. RR-11). Available from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/eval/framework.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2005). CDC Evaluation Working Group: Resources [online]. Available from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/eval/resources.htm#logic%20model

US Department of Health and Human Services. (2002). Physical Activity Evaluation Handbook. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation. (2004). Logic Model Development Guide [online]. Available from URL: http://www.wkkf.org/Pubs/Tools/Evaluation/Pub3669.pdf [PDF-1.3Mb]

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