Logic models

Logic models are a road map to thinking through a problem—how to get from A to Z, the path from intervention to impact. Logic models can provide a way to see and agree on the interventions and outcomes, and the pathway between the two. Logic models also help you talk through assumptions about your work's impact.

If you want to lower obesity in a community, where do you start? You know the long-term outcome is less obesity, but how do you get there? A logic model will help you figure that out.

Example logic model

Community plans
Evidence-based practice literature
Location, site
Afterschool program activities
Community gardening
Cooking/nutrition classes
Afterschool program participants (number of)
Community garden users (number of)
Access to social activities and connection
Asthma trigger exposure decreases
Employment skills increase
Asthma problems among children decrease
Caregiving burden decreases
Academic proficiency scores increase
Crime rate decreases

Logic models come in many shapes and forms, but most have four features:

  1. Inputs—the resources that go into a program (e.g., the staff, supplies, or number of volunteers)
  2. Activities—the services or programming provided (e.g., community gardens, cooking classes)
  3. Outputs—the direct results of an organization's activities (e.g., number of garden plots created, or the number of people who took a cooking class)
  4. Outcomes—the intended changes, or the difference the organization expects to make in someone's life, both short and long-term (e.g., short-term: greater awareness of value of a balanced diet; longer-term: lower obesity)

By filling in the boxes of a logic model, and connecting them with arrows, you demonstrate what you expect will occur as a result of your initiative. The choice of activities to effect change should be guided by what we know works.

The example models

We offer examples of nine logic models for different areas. The logic models included in this site are based partly on what many practitioners use and partly on what the research shows works. But remember, no off-the-shelf logic model will fit your needs exactly. Creating your logic model is a team effort and a good exercise for any organization.

Note that the items in the logic models (inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes) are examples. They show what types of things you might measure, but probably no initiative would try to achieve and measure all of them. So, you can consider the examples as menus, from which you will select only those items that apply to your initiative.

Access data for your initiative

Each logic model offers a menu of inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes relevant to community health improvement projects that fall within that action area, e.g., Supportive Housing. Each logic model shows the types of things you might want to achieve, but probably no initiative would focus on all of the outputs and outcomes listed. Users should think about their own activities and the outputs and outcomes they wish to achieve, and select those that apply to their particular initiative.

The outcomes listed in the example logic models link, whenever possible, to measures already collected through existing data sources and to measures that might require users to collect their own data through a survey, or other means. Measures with existing data sources are highlighted.

Not sure what logic model you're looking for? Or, want to scan for outcomes and metrics, without first looking at a logic model? Get started! Browse logic models by activity, output, or outcome.