Benefits of developing and using logic models are:

  • The model helps communicate the program to people outside the program in a concise and compelling way.
  • The model helps program staff gain a common understanding of how the program works and their responsibilities to make it work.
  • Choosing a small set of performance indicators based upon a logic model:
    • Keeps attention on all aspects of performance, balances the perturbations that measurement puts in the system.
    • Informs the timing of in-depth evaluations (e.g., there is no reason to look for outcomes if resources haven't arrived).
  • Attribution of outcomes to the program is partially demonstrated by showing the related program activities and outputs.

Logic models can be used to design new programs or to confirm that an existing program design is still reasonable under current circumstances. Similarly, a logic model can confirm that the set of existing performance measures covers key aspects all along the performance spectrum.

Here is a logic model with the types of evaluations and relevant evaluation questions overlaid on it. You can see, for example, that process evaluations are more about inputs to outputs and impact evaluations are more about the sequence of outcomes.

For an example of a generic logic model that encompasses most EERE programs, and how this model helps choose performance measures, see this presentation.