A helpful visual tool for developing an assessment plan is through the use of a logic model. Logic models map the relationships (or connections) among elements necessary to reach the expected outcome, providing a clear road map to a specified end and can display participants’ learning about what works under what conditions. Logic models describe a bounded project or initiative: both what is planned (the doing) and what results are expected (the getting). Logic models may be simple or complex. The type and complexity of the logic model will depend on the program’s focus, the purpose of the logic model, and the audience. As illustrated in the Figure below, the simplest form of a logic model includes four components:
Figure. Simple Logic Model
Program goals are very broad statements of intended accomplishments or a general description of a general condition deemed desirable.
Inputs are the various resources to support the program (e.g., staff, materials, curricula, funding, equipment)
Activities are the action components of the program (e.g., write a plan, implement a workshop, train employees). These are sometimes referred to as process outcomes. They specify what program staff and partners will do during the program period.
Outcomes are the intended accomplishments of the program. They include short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes.
Sample Goals: To reduce obesity rates among young adolescents in New York.
Inputs: Staff, Money, and Partners
If we could invest staff and money and have partners to work with, then we would be able to design an appropriate young adolescent obesity educational curriculum.
Activities: Design young adolescent curriculum, provide 6 interactive curriculums
Once we designed that curriculum, then we would be able to provide that curriculum as a program with a series of six interactive lessons and a variety of handouts and materials. This curriculum then could be delivered to the targeted young adolescents identified as being ‘at risk’ for obesity.
Outcomes: The short-term outcome would be young adolescents would increase their knowledge of how to eat healthy. The long-term outcome would be they would reduce their weight gain.