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Logic modelling

Logic modelling is a design tool that helps provide clear line of sight between your needs, inputs, activities and outcomes.

Introduction to logic modelling - a video

This video runs for 3:31 minutes.

Evaluation Capacity Building - Logic Modelling from NSW CESE on Vimeo.

Read the transcript


A logic model has four components

At its simplest, a logic model looks like a simple flow-chart:

  1. Needs are about the problem and why it’s important to address it. What issue are we trying to address?
  2. Inputs are the things that contribute to addressing the need (usually a combination of money, time, expertise and resources). What resources are we investing?
  3. Activities describe the things that the inputs allow to happen. What are we doing with these resources?
  4. Outcomes are usually expressed in terms of measures of success. What difference are we hoping to make?

When should I use a logic model?

Logic modelling can help guide the design process, as well as evaluation. It is best done by the people who are developing and implementing a program or policy with an experienced evaluator, if possible.

Developing a logic model helps us to:

  • design programs and initiatives that are responsive to needs and have a good chance of working
  • identify and express assumptions, which can then be validated or challenged by looking at the research, and/or tested in an evaluation
  • identify external factors that are beyond our control, but which may impact directly or indirectly on the effectiveness of the activities
  • identify possible ways the activities might derail or have negative consequences, so that we can guard against these, manage them actively and explore them in an evaluation
  • identify key process linkages that might be examined in a process evaluation
  • identify key results or markers of progress that we might want to look for in an outcome evaluation.

Step-by-step guide to logic modelling

There is no 'right way' to develop a logic model, and you can start anywhere in the process. However, as a guideline:

  • Sticky notes on a whiteboard are helpful, as they allow you to move things around and write around the model as you build it.
  • If you are developing a logic model for an existing project, try starting with the activities and inputs, in the middle of the model.
  • If you are building a logic model for something in the design stage, try starting with needs and outcomes at the two ends of the model, and then look at what activities will be most effective and what inputs will be required.

To develop a logic model for an existing project, follow these eight simple steps:

Step 1: Note the project’s activities

Step 2: Note the inputs

Step 3: Note the intended outcomes

Step 4: Reorder into cause and effect chain

Step 5: Note the needs

Step 6: Troubleshoot your model

Step 7: Write down any assumptions

Step 8: Tidy up your model

Developing a logic model - a presentation

View the presentation in full size.

Download a printable version (PDF 207KB).

Building a logic model - video demonstration

In this demonstration video, a school executive follow the 8 steps to develop a logic model for their Stage 2 robotics program.

Building a logic model - demonstration (stage 2 robotics program).

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