by Phil Lee, published by the Local Community Services Association (LCSA), New South Wales, Australia. Thanks to LCSA director, Brian Smith.
Logic models are diagrams that explain how a program is supposed to work. A simple one page logic model can sometimes be a useful planning and communication tool. But many programs today are required to produce long complex logic models that explain program functioning in great detail. These logic models take a lot of time to produce and do not provide benefits commensurate with the effort. Many government and non-profit organizations are adopting the more useful tools emerging from the movement toward outcomes-based or results-based planning and management. These tools can do all the work of identifying performance measures and supporting program evaluation and continuous improvement without the need for logic model diagrams. The following discussion of logic model weaknesses is intended to help agencies assess their current use of logic models and decide if moving in another direction makes more sense.