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This post is about typical elements used in developing logic models. It is one in a series about logic models and competitive grant seeking. Its context is the United States of America. Other posts discuss the uses of logic models throughout proposal planning and project implementation, types of logic models, samples of logic models, and other topics.


Basic Elements

Although there is considerable variation in the available literature, most logic models appear to have six basic elements. Two or three of these focus on what an applicant plans to do. The others focus on what is to happen both while and after it is done. What follows is one of many schemas for the basic elements of a logic model.


Basic Elements Graphic


The six elements in a basic logic model can be sequenced left to right in a six-column table, as below:


Purpose and Context: What is the project’s scope of work? What is its overarching goal? Which specific audiences and systems will be expected to benefit? What problem or need or priority will it address?


Inputs or Resources: What resources are already available to do the work (finances, labor, facilities, other assets)? What further resources are needed?


Activities: With the available and requested inputs, what project activities will you implement? Over what span of time will you undertake them? In what sequence will they occur?


Outputs or Results: What events, products, or services will you deliver to target audiences through the project activities?


Participant Outcomes: How will participants’ awareness, knowledge, behavior, skills, or level of functioning change measurably subsequent to the activities and outputs?


Contextual Outcomes: How will organizations, operating environments, communities, policies, or other larger contexts change measurably subsequent to the activities and outputs?


Depending upon the type of model used (e.g., Theory, Outcomes, Activities) there are many variations in these elements. To get started, readers may want to explore the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) discussion of logic models.


Basic Elements Graphic2


For more discussion of logic models, readers may want to visit the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL), and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Logic Model Development Guide (2006).




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