What is a program logic map?
A program logic map is a way of visually representing how a program – or project – achieves its intended objectives. It is a roadmap that links the inputs, processes and outputs (or outcomes) to the program endpoint and thereby reveals the “logic" by which the program is expected to work.
Program logic mapping is a well-established evaluation tool, because the maps provide a starting point for designing meaningful evaluation questions and indicators that can be used to measure performance.
All program logic maps contain the same four basic categories of items, as set out in the following table. Some logic mapping software uses different names or terminology for the four categories, but the concepts are the same.
|Input||These are the resources the program will draw upon, or the pre-existing arrangements or environmental conditions the program may build upon. This includes human, financial, material and organisational (i.e. strategic, policy and operational) resources.|
|Process||These are the actions or activities that are undertaken and include processes, tools, events, technology and actions that are an intentional part of program implementation.|
|Outputs/Outcomes||These are intermediate results of the program. Outputs are direct and tangible products of program activities, while outcomes are changes in behaviour, knowledge, skills, status or level of functioning. Note that outputs from one process within a program often become inputs for other processes.|
|Objectives||These are the ultimate intended goals (or endpoints) of the program.|
Watch the video tutorial to see a simple example of how program logic maps are created.
Program logic maps and the BPCLE Framework
Since program logic mapping is a useful evaluation tool, maps were initially developed for each of the six BPCLE Framework elements to assist in identifying indicators that could be used to monitor an organisation’s performance against the framework.
Of course, the maps that were developed for evaluation purposes also provide a roadmap for how to achieve the objectives of the framework and, in this context, they can be used as an implementation guide. The six BPCLE Framework program logic maps have been incorporated into BPCLEtool and provide the basis for the self-assessment, action planning and indicator selection steps. Specifically:
- During self-assessment, health services work through the maps to address whether they have all the inputs, undertake all the processes and generate all the outcomes and outputs that are necessary for achieving a high quality clinical learning environment.
- Based on the self-assessment, BPCLEtool recommends items to include in an action plan to address identified problem areas.
- Based on the self-assessment, BPCLEtool suggests indicators that might be useful to monitor.