AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

Jan/10

5

Paul Duignan on Logic Models

I’m Paul Duignan, I’ve been working in evaluation for twenty years and more recently I’ve combined evaluation with work in the emerging area of what I call ‘outcomes management’. This is the increasing emphasis that people in strategic planning, performance management and outcomes-focused contracting are putting on specifying, measuring and attributing outcomes. Because of our experience and training, there’s a great opportunity for evaluators to get involved right across this whole rapidly expanding area of work. At a practical level, my current mission is to reinvent the way we do logic modeling. Up until now, I think that we’ve been terribly low-tech in our approach to logic modeling. It’s time to both acknowledge the initial modeling work of our evaluation logic modeling pioneers, but to now lift our game. We need to build on their insight about the importance of logic models by taking advantage of the visualization opportunities that computers offer.

Rad Resource: 9 Videos on Working with Logic Models. I’ve just put up a series of 9 short videos on working with logic models, ranging from how to draw them with a group to how to map indicators onto them. Each video also has a resource list with links out to one-page tip sheets, articles and workbooks that are relevant to the particular video. http://www.outcomescentral.org.

Rad Resource: DoView outcomes and evaluation software. This software, which I’ve been involved in developing, is what some people are calling the world’s first ‘outcomes processor’. It’s been built so that it can be used with any orientation to logic modeling rather than hardwiring in a particular approach. It can also take logic modeling further by letting you build entire ‘visual evaluation plans’ around your logic models. Download a trial version from http://www.doview.com. ‘Borrow’ logic models that have already been developed in DoView and adapt them for your own program (http://www.outcomesmodels.org). See a web page example (produced by DoView) of a visual evaluation plan at: http://bit.ly/DoViewExample2

Rad Resource: At a more theoretical level – I’ve been developing the new area of ‘outcomes theory’ which attempts to identify the key concepts which underpin all thinking about outcomes (whether in evaluation, performance management, outcomes-focused contracting etc.). This work is available at http://bit.ly/outcomestheory. If you have a moment, I would love for you to engage with this body of work by putting comments at the bottom of any page about whether or not you agree with what I’m saying. I blog on a continuing basis on my work at http://outcomesblog.org and can be found on Twitter.com/PaulDuignan. Paul (at) parkerduignan.com.

Want to hear more from Paul? He is offering a demonstration as part of AEA’s Coffee Break Demonstration Series on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010. Click here to learn more and sign up: http://www.eval.org/demos.asp

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3 comments

  • Admin comment by Susan Kistler · April 28, 2010 at 10:52 am

    For members only, the screencast and recording of the Coffee Break Webinar Paul Duignan offered on DoView 2.0 Software may be accessed here http://bit.ly/DuignanDoViewweb.

    Not a member? His handout on resources for learning more about Building Stakeholder-Friendly Visual Logic Models With DoView 2.0 may be found in the AEA Public eLibrary here http://bit.ly/DuignanDoViewhand. I encourage you to consider joining and thus gaining access to AEA’s webinars archive library (as well as journals, professional development, thought leaders discussions, newsletters…). Join now online at http://www.eval.org/membership.asp.

    Reply

  • Paul Duignan · January 9, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Jara,

    If you are an AEA member, you will be able to view the webinar next week.

    As you say, it is really important to get stakeholders and program staff to ‘own’ their outcomes models (logic models). In the past they have often been somewhat technical things that turn off normal people.

    Part of my mission is to make them much more accessible. As Jonny Morell, who teaches logic modeling, points out, the aesthetics of logic models are really important. We need to make them beautiful and functional if we are going to get normal people to use them. And I think that we need to be able to build them in real time in meetings so that people have ownership of them.

    Regards,

    Paul

    Reply

  • Jara Dean-Coffey · January 6, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Paul,

    In the spirit of transparency, I am a fan of logic modeling. Our work weaves strategy and evauative inquir and in doing so we have found the process of helping our clients make explicit intention and relationships between efforts and outcomes to be extremely valuable, The conversation that unfolds is rich, deep and usually bring the group to a new sense of shared purpose and alignment.

    That being said, the emergence of new more accessible tools that organizations that are so inclined could use themselves is a huge breakthrough, It has always concerned me that this work rested primarily in the hands of consultants (myself included) and was a bit out of reach for those in the field.

    I look forward to exploring the links you provided and am sorry that I will miss the session on January 7th.

    Kudos!

    Reply

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