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Modeling the Program - Conceptualization, Logic Models & Pathway Models

One of the most important steps in evaluation involves developing a model of what the program is trying to do. This can be accomplished in a number of ways and there are many methods and tools that can be used. Here, we describe some of the most important resources for developing program models for evaluation.

Logic Models

Logic models have become one of the most common tools for articulating program theory and the relationships of program acticities and outcomes.

Check out our Guide to the Systems Evaluation Protocol.

University of Wisconsin - Extension
Evaluation Logic Model

W.H. Kellogg Foundation
Logic Model Development Guide

University of Idaho - Extension
The Logic Model for Program Planning and Evaluation

Useable Knowledge
Logic Models

Concept Mapping

Concept mapping is a broad category of methods that can be used to help develop models of a program and its outcomes. Concept mapping can be broadly divided into two classes of methods: ones used by individuals and ones used collaboratively by groups.

Individual Concept Mapping


Concept Map

Collaborative Concept Mapping

Research Methods Knowledge Base
Concept Mapping

Concept Systems Inc.
Concept Mapping

Pathway Models

Pathway models are program causal models that show the explicit links between hypothesized program activities and outcomes. Much of the impetus for pathway models comes from the Theory of Change literature.

Check out our Guide to the Systems Evaluation Protocol.

Theory of Change

Annie E. Casey Foundation
Theory of Change: A Practical Tool for Action, Results and Learning