The Short Answer
1. The 4 Quadrant method and logic model methods can be seen as complementary, not contradictory, approaches.
2. The 4 Quadrant model goes directly to the identification of performance measures, without a lot of preliminaries:
3. There are many different frameworks using the term “logic model.” Most logic models take time to describe program components in writing (sometimes in great detail) and derive client outcomes from the following sequence:
4. The corresponding component of each is highlighted. Many logic model approaches do not address “quality of effort” measures and these must be added be separately.
5. The identification of performance measures, using the 4 Quadrant model, a logic model or any other model, is part of a larger process. It is the starting point for using performance measures to improve performance.
See 3.14 What do we do with performance measures once we have them? How can we use performance measures to improve performance?>See also QA1.3 Logic Model � Results Decision making: Which process to use?
Click here for a Crosswalk from the Results-Based Accountability framework to the logic model framework
Logic Model and Theory of Change methods are related and sometimes lumped together. The following section will address them separately. Logic models are most often used for evaluation of programs. Theory of Change is a more broadly based approach that can be applied to evaluation of both programs and community-wide efforts to improve the well-being of a whole population.
(1) What is a “logic model?”: Logic models provide a method of describing the way a program is intended to work. This is presented as a logical sequence
(2) There is a great value in the work being done under the rubric of “logic model,” or “theory of change.” Logic models and the Results-Based Accountability model presented in this guide are all, of course, “logical.” And in fact both approaches are complementary. But there are important distinctions worth noting:
(a) Logic model work is mostly about program performance and generally does not address whole population well-being. It is a performance accountability method or program evaluation method.
(b) It works best for programs which provide a specific service or set of services. (It is often used to design program evaluations.) It is less useful for whole agencies or for parts of agencies that do not provide service (like administrative functions).
(c) Logic model thinking processes, like the United Way’s approach, work in the “opposite direction” of results-based decision making and budgeting. One starts with clients, the other ends with clients.
(d) Many program logic models do not address quality of effort (upper right quadrant) measures like staff ratio, timeliness, cultural competence etc. This must be added.
(e) Most logic models do not distinguish between the quantity (#) and quality (%) of client results. (“Our program helped get 15 people off of drugs.” This number is good if the total number served was 20; and bad if the total served was 1,000. The percentage or rate shows this difference.)
(3) Logic models are particularly useful in designing programs, because they require you to think about the logic of how the program is supposed to work.
(4) The logic model thinking process essentially answers the question “How is this program supposed to affect client results?” It is the kind of test people should use in the “what works” part of the results- based decision making framework. As such it is a tool that can help test ideas about what works, and help make the best programmatic choices about how to turn the curve on client results.
(5) In some cases program staff have found it helpful to think through how a program is supposed to work (using some form of logic model) and then developing performance measures in the 4 Quadrant framework. This can sometimes help people who do not understand the concept of client outcomes and have trouble getting to the lower right quadrant measures of whether clients are better off.
See also 1.8 How do we fit together different approaches when there is more than one approach to Results-Based Accountability being used in my area?