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Outcomes-based Program Planning

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  • * Think about who will use the logic model--to/with whom the logic model is to communicate: you or your staff, funders, administrators, elected officials. * Settle on a graphic representation that best fits the user and use. * Recognize that deciding on a single image that displays the program theory is often the most difficult part of developing and using a logic model. When designing a program, the logic model is often very detailed. We want to identify every element, show all the connections, list all the assumptions and factors in the external environment likely to interact. This helps identify potential gaps in logic, areas that need further exploration, externalities and risks that may be associated with the proposed action so that we can put contingency plans in place. It helps us determine resource needs and the likelihood of success.
  • Many who use logic models talk about them as a series of "if-then" sequences. If "x", then "y". If "y", then "z". Starting at the left, let's see how this works: If you have certain resources, then you will be able to provide activities, produce services or products for targeted individuals or groups. If you reach those individuals or groups, then they will benefit in certain specific ways in the short term. If the short-term benefits are achieved to the extent expected, then the medium term benefits can be accomplished. If the medium term benefits for participants/organizations/decision makers, are achieved to the extent expected, then you would expect the longer-term improvements and final impact in terms of social, economic, environmental, or civic changes to occur. This is the foundation of logic models and the theory of causal association. Such "if-then" relationships may seem too simple and linear for the complex programs and environments in which we work. However, we find that in working out these sequences, we uncover gaps in logic, clarify assumptions, and more clearly understand how investments are likely to lead to results.
  • This graphic of a logic model more realistically depicts a multi-faceted program. The programs that many of us work in seldom are so simple that a single line of boxes and arrows accurately represent reality. In this logic model, you see a number of rows that depict various sequences of events and arrows showing both vertical and horizontal flows and feedback loops. The several lines or branches might represent different activities or target audiences and the sequence of events pertaining to each. Feedback loops are common in most programs. As we learn, we feed that information back into the program and modify it. Or, something may happen that causes the program to redirect. Actual program implementation is more complex and fluid than a single line of boxes and straight arrows represents.
  • # Time and practice are required before you can use logic models effectively. The best way to learn is practice, practice, practice! # The process of constructing a logic model may be the most important aspect of logic model development. The process builds understanding, consensus, and clarity in thinking about the program - all of which are critical to the program's success. Remember - there is no one or correct way. We do recommend that if you are in a planning process, you consider starting with the end and working backwards. We hope you see how logic models can be used to improve your work. * There is no one or right way to draw a logic model; experiment - find the process that works bests for you and your group. * The recommended approach to planning a program is to "start" at the "end." * A logic model is dynamic - change it as your program, the environment, or people change. * Much of the value of a logic model is in the process of creating it, checking it, and modifying it. This process is an iterative one that involves stakeholders working together to clarify underlying assumptions, expectations, and the conditions under which success is most likely. # Logic models are refined and changed many times. Keep your logic model dynamic. Post it where everyone can see it. Change it as things change and you learn about your program.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Making a Difference Outcome-based Program Planning Val Cortes, Leadership Development Coordinator [email_address] Staff Day of Learning May 8, 2009
    • 2. By the end of this session you:
      • Will be able to explain what outcome-based program planning is
      • Will identify the components of a program logic model
      • Have an increased confidence and motivation to try outcomes-based program planning
    • 3. Group Agreements
      • We all bring expertise to the session
      • This presentation is just a taste
      • Ask questions, participate
      • Let others share their ideas
      • Take care of own needs
      • Listen to understand
      • Maintain confidentiality
      • Have fun!
    • 4. How do you rate your confidence in your ability to do outcome-based program planning
    • 5. Mental Models
      • Those deeply held beliefs, assumptions, stories and images that shape our understanding of how the world works
      • And often exist below the level of awareness
    • 6. A focus on whether our programs make a difference in the lives of participants. What is outcome-based Program Planning? It uses their needs and desired outcomes as the foundation for designing programs.
    • 7. The “Traditional” Program Model From: Measuring Program Outcomes: A Practical Approach (1996). ACTIVITIES OUTPUTS INPUTS The Outcome-based Program Model A INPUTS ACTIVITIES OUTPUTS
    • 8. New Vs. Existing Programs
    • 9. So far so good?
      • Outcome 1 : Participants will be able to explain what outcome-based program planning is
    • 10. Program Logic Model
    • 11. What is a program logic model?
      • A picture of a program, initiative or intervention.
      • Program logic models look different depending on
      • Purpose
      • Complexity of the program
      • Domain
    • 12. W. K. Kellogg Foundation PLM
    • 13.  
    • 14. University of Wisconsin PLM
    • 15. In Summary:
    • 16. Common pitfalls of PLM
      • Working in columns and forgetting the connections
      • Confusing it for evaluation
      • Seeing it as an academic exercise
      • Struggling with the level of detail or language
      • Not narrowing the function/purpose
      • Viewing it as a panacea
      • Only wanting a paper product
      • Complaining that it is linear
      • About outcomes-based program planning: hypothesis
    • 17. A PLM is a systems model
    • 18. Let’s practice
      • Based on what you've learned so far, think of a simple program you are working on or are planning.
      • Using the worksheet or your own design, create a logic model for the program. Be sure to include all six components of logic models, and use lines and arrows to illustrate direct linkages between and among components.
    • 19. So far so good?
      • Outcome 2 : Will identify the components of a program logic model
      • Outcome 3 : Have an increased confidence and motivation to try outcomes-based program planning
    • 20. The magic wand exercise
      • I wish to see_________________
      • If you had a magic wand what problems would your program solve?
      • What ideal future do you want to create? For whom?
      • Be aware of the needs of participants (target group)
      Remember it’s not about you!