Components of Logic Models


Sample logic model with Situation highlighted

The situation is the foundation for logic model development. The problem or issue that the program is to address sits within a setting or situation--a complex of sociopolitical, environmental, and economic conditions. If you incorrectly understand the situation and misdiagnose the problem, everything that follows is likely to be wrong.

Take time to understand the situation and carefully define the problem. This may be the most important step. As you do so, consider the following questions:

  1. What is the problem/issue?
  2. Why is this a problem? (What causes the problem?)
  3. For whom (individual, household, group, community, society in general) does this problem exist?
  4. Who has a stake in the problem? (Who cares whether it is resolved or not?)
  5. What do we know about the problem/issue/people that are involved? What research, experience do we have? What do existing research and experience say?

Create a succinct but thorough statement that answers the above questions. This statement is the foundation of your logic model.

"Practice" icon

Example situation statements
Practice writing a situation statement

Often the situation statement is appended to the logic model, as text. We think it is important, however, to include a few words on the far left side of the logic model. These words should capture the core of the originating situation. What is the problem/issue? The situation sets the foundation for everything that follows and is what we return to in order to see if we are making a difference. Too often we design and implement programs without fully considering and understanding the situation. The better we understand the situation and analyze the problem fully, the easier our logic model development will be.
"Don't miss it" icon Traps to avoid
Questions to ask during problem analysis
Help with problem analysis
Help with understanding your situation
Situations are not static
Recognizing assets