Developing a logic model

The logic model (sometimes referred to as the conceptual framework) links the project goal and objectives to the project parameters. It provides a reference for why the monitoring exercise is being done and what it intends to accomplish. The guiding parameters to develop the logic model are as follows: i) Defining the intervention, coverage, and target population. This helps the team to focus its monitoring efforts and provides an ‘anchor’ for the identification of required resources and processes; ii) Specifying the expected achievements (i.e. outputs and immediate outcomes); and iii) Defining the timeline (for the implementation of the project, not the monitoring exercise). However, you should be aware that a ‘linear’ description of a complex problem/approach may restrict flexibility and continual improvement if not updated during implementation. Figure 5, shows the different levels of a logic model for a research project in Tanzania where pregnant mothers attending antenatal care used vouchers to redeem mosquito nets from private outlets.4

Assumptions

The logic model also requires the identification of important conditions or events outside the control of the research team that are seen as essential:

  • to contribute to the goal;
  • for the achievement of specific outcomes;
  • for the production of intended outputs;
  • for the implementation to begin and continue in a sustained manner.

Assumptions are of particular interest for IR because they are of specific relevance in relation to potential for replicating, scaling up or relocating the intervention in question. Some key questions to help improve the assumptions you document might include the following:

  • Are the stated assumptions plausible in the existing context?
  • How specific are the assumptions to the research context?
  • Are there important implicit (unidentified) assumptions?
  • What consequences might result from incorrect assumptions?
  • During the course of the project, are any assumptions proven to be incorrect?

TDR Implementation research toolkit

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References