To What End?

Let’s Elevate These Ideas – Inaugural Post

February 28, 2015

At AEA 2015 , Michael Quinn Patton led a session titled Lack-of-Vision Evaluation Ideas That Should Be Retired to Realize Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future The purpose of the session was to put to bed (retire) ideas, concepts and even words that are no longer relevant to evaluation practice in the 21st century. There were some great ones that came up which you can see Big Data, Statistical Independence and one of my favorites, Objectivity.

The session inspired us here at jdcPartnerships to flip the frame a bit. We want to offer up an idea, concept or word that we should embrace and integrate in to our minds and practices.

We figure we will do it monthly and see where it takes us. If you have any ideas you want to offer up for us to consider or which you want us to promote, reach out to either @jdeancoffey or jara@jdcpartnerships.com.

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Let’s elevate – The practice of logic modeling.

This differs than the love hate relationship that the social and philanthropic sectors have with logic models.

The process of developing a logic model (of any type) if done correctly can be transformative in our experience. It can remain a useful reference point throughout that life span of a program and inform partnerships, planning, implementation and evaluation.

At jdcPartnerships, we rarely let a client for whom we are providing evaluation services get away without engaging in the process of developing one. To date, they have found developing a logic model incredibly useful. This holds true for those clients who entered in to the logic modeling process kicking and screaming.

Here are the benefits of logic modeling:

  • Illuminate and make transparent assumptions and context
  • Surface areas of misalignment around expectations
  • Create a container for dialogue that can strengthen program design
  • Document agreements and expectations about how change is supposed to happen
  • Identify gaps in logic and resources that may impact intended change
  • Serve as a reference point for evaluation, communications, partnership and on-going programmatic refinement

In this time of complexity and an increasingly dynamic environment, how could this could not be of value?

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