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Risk Assessment

MIRA: Logic Model

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 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:

  • Which activities do we do that more effectively reduce pollution?
  • Where can we find more effective combinations of activities/programs to improve public health and the environment?
  • What other additional activities should we be doing to better meet our mission?

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.