Hello! I am Amelia Kohm, founder of Data Viz for Nonprofits, a consulting firm that helps organizations to better use and show their data through charts, maps, and graphs. My work is all about making data accessible and reducing the journey from data to action. And one way to do that is with a living logic model.
Wherever I turn in the evaluation world, I find logic models. Also called a causal chain, roadmap, theory of change, and some other names too, a logic model is just a humble flow chart with an erudite name. It tells a story about how one thing leads to another and is a great way to plan for solving a problem. But logic models are hypothetical, best case scenarios. And, well, reality can bite.
Another problem with logic models is that they often get more play during the planning and proposal-writing phase of a project than during implementation. During the daily work of a project, logic models are taking it easy, gathering dust in files and on servers.
But what if we could plug a logic model into the real world? What if we could see how our plan is playing out in reality and make adjustments along the way?
I give you the next generation logic model, the living logic model.
The current that animates living logic models is real-time data. A living logic model compares theory to reality by showing progress to date. Color saturation indicates the status of each component. And the user can click on any component to see what subgroups might be driving progress, stagnation, or regression.
A living logic model is more understandable and tangible than a traditional one. The user can scroll over any component in the model to learn more about it. Such descriptions can include photos and web links for interested users.
Play around with this living logic model for a tutoring program to get an idea of its potential for your organization or your clients.
You can create a living logic by importing data to free software like Tableau Public. It can then be embedded into your website to make it accessible to all stakeholders.
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