SEA Affiliate Week: Tips for Engaging Stakeholders in Logic Modeling by Moya Alfonso

My name is Moya Alfonso, and I’m an Associate Professor at the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University. I would like to share a few tips on logic modeling and how to effectively engage stakeholders in each step of the process based on my eighteen years of experience engaging community stakeholders in community health research and evaluation.

Logic modeling is more than just determining inputs, activities, outputs, and activities. When working in community settings, logic modeling should be a collaborative process that engages stakeholders in developing the mission, vision, and visual representation of their program from start to finish. Stakeholders can help specify programmatic activities and related outputs, and delineate short-, middle-, and long-term program outcomes. DoView is a great low-cost tool to aid in the collaborative logic-modeling process.

Hot Tips:

Below are some tips for engaging stakeholders throughout the logic-modeling process:

  1. Establish a diverse stakeholder advisory group: Community stakeholders have a range of skills to bring to the table that can contribute to the evaluation process. Incorporate active-learning strategies when developing the advisory group that result in usable information for the logic model. For example, having advisory members develop an elevator speech can help inform the program mission and vision that will guide logic model development.
  2. Engage stakeholders in meaningful discussion: In addition to reviewing program documents, stakeholder discussion should inform logic-model development. A focus group discussion at the beginning of the logic-modeling process could serve as a critical foundation for logic-model development. For example, you could ask the advisory group to think back to the last time their program worked well and what happened as a result. This could illuminate key program outcomes to include in the model.
  3. Don’t be afraid to get creative: Effective collaborative logic-modeling may require you to spread large sheets of paper across a conference room table accompanied with a bunch of brightly colored markers. Rather than taking the standard linear approach to logic modeling, have advisory members think creatively about the structure of the logic model. They key is to create a visual representation of the program and its outcomes that makes sense to the advisory board. This will increase understanding and buy-in and will improve implementation fidelity.
  4. Hand over the keys: Collaborative approaches to logic modeling require you – the evaluator – to get out of the driver’s seat and hand over the keys to the advisory group. This can be challenging for evaluators who are used to being in complete control over the logic-modeling process. By working with the advisory group in a collaborative process, a more powerful visual representation and greater understanding of the program will result!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Southeast Evaluation Association (SEA) Affiliate Week with our colleagues in the SEA Affiliate. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from SEA Affiliate members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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