Hierarchical Logic Models as a Tool to Evaluate Programmatic Initiatives: Practical Solutions to Identified Problems

J Community Med Health Educ. 2017:7:522. doi: 10.4172/2161-0711.1000522. Epub 2017 May 8.


Introduction: Large programmatic grants advance the missions of funding agencies or organizations. This article describes the programmatic impact of using "hierarchical" logic models in two Centers funded by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that were designed to achieve NIOSH goals. Such models are supportive of priority setting, policy implementation, and effective evaluation.

Methods: Two NIOSH Centers, an Agricultural Center and an Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center, used the same hierarchical logic model process to support the NIOSH programmatic goal of improving worker health and safety in their respective occupational categories. The logic model development processes were led by the same evaluator.

Results: Case studies describe the utilization of "hierarchical" logic models: in each case, NIOSH was the "grandparent", the Center was its descendant (parent) and the cores were the children. This lineage was articulated through the Center-wide logic model and through the logic model of each of its core programmatic areas (core). The Center-wide logic model ensured that the Center's goals, and the intended outcomes and impact of its work were linked to the mission and goals of NIOSH. Each core's logic model articulated how its goals, activities, and outcomes were specifically linked to the Center-wide model.

Discussion: A hierarchical logic model process ensures that the objectives of the funding agency or organization are addressed, and enables stakeholders to articulate the linkages between each layer. This facilitates the process of developing, implementing and evaluating programmatic elements within the framework of strategic planning.

Keywords: Center grant; Hierarchical logic model; Institutional grant; Logic model; Program evaluation; Program planning.