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Logic Model

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What is a Logic Model?

The Logic Model is a learning and management tool which gives a picture of how an organization does its work. It helps everyone see what works and why. This tool links the expected outcome of a program or project to its individual activities and processes.

How Does The Mid-Atlantic Office Use Logic Models?

EPA's mid-Atlantic Region has adapted a model developed by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, a recognized leader in the development and practical application of this tool (Logic Model Development Guide Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer). EPA has a different "bottom line" than most organizations: not money, but environmental results. And, EPA takes input from many different programs with different goals: some environmental, some educational, and some collaborative.

The Region is using this model as its organizational planning tool to maximize outcomes through efficient targeting of our resources.

We are currently applying the Logic Model and its data to answer questions such as:

Logic Models help define activities we need to do so that ... scientists can understand what is causing the fish to die so that ... different options that help the fish populations can be evaluated within the whole environmental, economic and social context, so that ... conditions improve, the fish are healthy, and the EPA mission is met.

Definitions of Logic Model Terms

Baseline = Present or current state related to outcomes and impacts; measures from which to judge success/accomplishment of outcomes and impacts.

Program Impediments = Barriers to completing activities or completing activities effectively or efficiently.

Activities = Assigned or self-generated tasks that are performed by individuals or groups.

Outputs = Products generated as a result of accomplishing activities; evidence of service delivery.

Outcomes = Results of specific outputs; describe an organization's mission (e.g., Environmental Assessment & Innovation Division mission for divisional logic model; Office mission for office logic model).

Impacts = Impacts are organized into two general accountability categories:

  1. Mission (sub-divided into public health, environmental function and public education)
  2. Statutory

For public health, impacts are health effects (single or combined). For ecosystems, impacts are ecosystem function or services. For public education, impacts can be defined by sector, constituency or public health/ecosystem services education. In addition, impacts can represent statutory accomplishment. Ideally, mission and statutory accomplishment are the same; but currently, this is not necessarily the case.

Examples

Other Examples

Generic EPA Mid-Atlantic Environmental Assessment & Innovation Division Logic Model

Baseline

The current condition of the environment & the current capability to meet EPA's mission.

Program Impediments

These are the things that make it difficult to perform the necessary activities.

Activities

In order to address our problems we will accomplish the following activities.

Outputs

This is a reflection of the Divisional functional statement & the Office functional statement; the things listed here are products (reports, etc.).

Outcomes

This is a reflection of our Divisional mission statement & addresses group activities (not individual activities); results expected when the Division achieves its mission.

Impacts

This connects the Division's mission & vision statements to the EPA mission and vision statements; also includes addressing EPA statutory requirements; these are the Division's contribution to the EPA mission.

Mission Accountability

Statutory Accountability

Progress toward Mission and Statutory Accountability

Program Accountability

Program Impediment Level

Funding

Expertise

Administrative Functions

Communication

Classify all activities into one of the following categories:

I. Building Institutional Capability

II. Full Stakeholder Participation

 III. Program Management/ Accountability

IV. Addressing Program Impediments

Classify all outputs into one of the following categories:

I. Building Institutional Capability

II. Full Stakeholder Participation

III. Program Management/ Accountability

IV. Addressing Program Impediments

(I, II) Division's contribution toward assessing the environmental problem & evaluating options.

(I, II, III) Progress Toward Mission & Statutory Accountability Impacts

(III) Program Accountability

(IV) Program Impediment Reduction & Prevention

I. Measures of Mission Accountability

A. Public Health

B. Environmental Function

C. Public Education

II. Measures of Statutory Accountability

 

Sample Chesapeake Bay Watershed Logic Model

Baseline

The current condition of the environment & the current capability to meet EPA’s mission.

Program Impediments

These are the things that make it difficult to perform the necessary activities.

Activities

In order to address our problems we will accomplish the following activities.

Outputs

This is a reflection of the Divisional functional statement & the Office functional statement; the things listed here are products (reports, etc.).

Outcomes

This is a reflection of our Divisional mission statement & addresses group activities (not individual activities); results expected when the Division achieves its mission.

Impacts

This connects the Division's mission & vision statements to the EPA mission and vision statements; also includes addressing EPA statutory requirements; these are the Division’s contribution to the EPA mission.

Current capability to evaluate & implement options to reduce pollution.

For example, current poor water quality causing disease or illness in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

 

Funding to buy monitors & provide travel dollars for employees to service monitors.

Availability of technical data in readily accessible format.

What we do:

For example, evaluating the problem of bacterial contamination in the Chesapeake Bay.

I. Monitoring

II. Technical evaluation

What we get:

I. Data about potential sources of bacterial levels.

II. Understanding about the data (i.e., fate and transport model runs & analysis).

How does this meet the EAID mission?

Provide decision makers with scientifically credible information.

For example, using model runs to evaluate different options available to reduce bacterial levels in the Chesapeake Bay.

How does this meet the EPA mission?

Contribute to implementing options to reduce pollution. 

For example, (different year from baseline or future year)  poor water quality causing disease or illness in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Indicator 1:

Current number of people with diseases due to poor water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

Indicator 2:

Above PLUS  also maintaining or improving economic, social standards of living. (i.e. composite environmental / economic / social indicator)

Indicator: 

Percent of funding requested for data analysis  available for the model runs.  

Indicator:

Identifying data sources & science experts required to build a credible fate & transport model.

Indicator:

Credible fate & transport model runs showing how sources impact bacterial levels in the Chesapeake Bay.

Indicator:

Number of different options evaluated.

Indicator 1:

Number of people with diseases due to poor water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

Indicator 2:

Above PLUS  also maintaining or improving economic, social standards of living (i.e. composite environmental / economic / social indicator).

Contacts

Cynthia Stahl (stahl.cynthia@epa.gov)
Decision Analysis Module
Office of Environmental Information & Analysis (3EA10)
Environmental Assessment & Innovation Division
US EPA Region 3
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103--2029
215-814-2180

Janet Kremer (kremer.janet@epa.gov)
Air Quality Analysis Branch (3AP22)
Air Protection Division
US EPA Region 3
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103--2029
215-814-2147

Mid-Atlantic Region || Mid-Atlantic Env'l Assessment & Innovation || Mid-Atlantic Data


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