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Using logic models

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How to use this guide:

This guide gives step-by-step advice, tips, and questions to support developing a logic model for a policy, programme or project. Developing a logic model is a collaborative process to structure your thinking and not simply about filling in a template, – although we have included a template that can be used and modified according to need. We strongly recommend discussing the logic model with colleagues and funders, asking whether each step makes sense and is consistent with the evidence.

In addition to advice and questions to consider, we include an example to illustrate each step of a logic model, as well as some of the thinking that would underpin that logic model.

Download our comprehensive guide and checklist to help you sense check your logic model:
Using logic models guide
Logic models checklist

Logic models provide a structure to systematically think about policy interventions, helping policymakers to focus on needs, how the policy or intervention aims to address these needs and the intended outcomes and long-term impacts.

Key things to consider when developing a logic model

  • Gather the evidence: Use all the information available to ensure the logic model is evidence-based, internally consistent and the relationship between the steps are logical and realistic.
  • Keep it simple: You are working in a complex area, where no one intervention will solve all the issues, but a simple logic model can help give clarity on your intervention.
  • Start early: If possible, develop a basic logic model right at the start to outline objectives and initial thoughts on what activities you will need.
  • Collaborate: Give colleagues the opportunity to talk through and unpick the mechanisms expected to play out through the proposed intervention – just explaining the intervention to new people or asking ‘why’ and ‘how’ can really help.
  • Be specific: Including details on how and why you expect the outcomes and impact to be met helps you better test assumptions.
  • Go back-and-forth: Come back to the steps and check them a few times during the process.
  • Never too late: – It is never too late to develop a logic model. You can use it to think about lessons learnt, to adapt your intervention partway through, or shape your messaging.

Additional information on logic models: