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Logic Model Front

The logic model is at the center of UW-Extension Program Development. It displays the sequence of actions that describe what the program is and will do – how investments link to results. We include 5 core components in this depiction of the program action:

  1. INPUTS: resources, contributions, investments that go into the program
  2. OUTPUTS: activities, services, events and products that reach people who participate or who are targeted
  3. OUTCOMES: results or changes for individuals, groups, communities, organizations, communities, or systems
  4. Assumptions: the beliefs we have about the program, the people involved, and the context and the way we think the program will work
  5. External Factors: the environment in which the program exists includes a variety of external factors that interact with and influence the program action.

In UW-Extension, we use the logic model in planning, implementation, evaluation and communication. While the term “program” is often used, we find a logic model equally useful for describing group work, team work, community-based collaboratives and other complex organizational processes as we seek to promote results-based performance.

The UW-Extension logic model draws on experience with the USAID Log Frame (~1971) and the hierarchy of program effectiveness (Bennett, 1976; later with Rockwell, 1995), long a program evaluation framework in Cooperative Extension nationwide as well as work by Wholey, 1979, 1987; Mayeske, 1994; Reisman, 1994; United Way, 1996; Montague, 1997 and others. This logic model classifies Activities as OUTPUTS where we also include Participation. This has:

  • allowed us to simplify the model and language
  • helped us focus on outcomes versus outputs
  • allowed us to attend equally to the important aspects of who participates or is reached that is central to our programming and diversity goals.

The UW-Extension logic model serves as the conceptual framework for the institution-wide Impact Indicator initiative based in the UWEX Vice-Chancellor’s office. A variety of resource materials and professional development offerings are available to help faculty, staff and partners understand and use the logic model in planning, implementation, evaluation and communications.