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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Working for Youth Justice and Safety
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Logic Models

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Performance Measures

Understanding Logic Models

A logic model is a tool used to visually describe the linkages between program goals, activities, and expected outcomes. They describe how a program should work, present the planned activities for the program, describe how activities will be documented, and focus on anticipated outcomes. It is important to remember that logic models present a theory about the expected program outcome. They do not demonstrate whether the program caused the observed outcome. Diagrams or pictures that illustrate the logical relationship among key program elements through a sequence of "if-then" statements are often used when presenting logic models. (text adapted from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/evaluation/glossary/glossary_l.htm and the Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center)

Why Create a Logic Model?

Logic model development offers the following benefits:

  • Clearly identify program goals, objectives, activities, and desired results
  • Clarify assumptions and relationships between program efforts and expected outcomes
  • Communicate key elements of the program
  • Help specify what to measure in an evaluation
  • Guide assessment of underlying project assumptions and promotes self-correction
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