Scriven (1991) would argue that evaluation has been around for many years, and is only now recognised as a discipline. He would go further and say it is like a knowledge which has been around for a decade before we were discussing its use, nature and logic. It is essentially different from science in its methods and thought. He would argue it is only recently we have appreciated its value as a discipline we still have a long way to go. Despite the current popularity of logic Models they date back to the 1970s. The first publication that used the term “logic model” was quoted as Evaluation: Promise and Performance by Joseph S. Wholey (1979). Suchman (1967) is similar to Bennett's hierarchy, The Seven Levels of Evidence (1975, 1976), well-known in Cooperative Extension circles, was an early predecessor of today's logic model. The backgrounds and footprints of logic model thinking can be seen in the private sector, public sector and non-profit sector. Private sector- The private sector has experienced total quality management (TQM) and performance measurement movements. TQM is an on-going process that involves management and staff to meet the requirements of clients and other stakeholders while keeping costs to a minimum. Moullin (2002) Public sector- The Government Performance targets with health and social care which asked for outcomes which were linked to funding. E.g. Accident and Emergency waiting times, more recently the push for released prisoners who are managed within the community by agencies will receive funding if they do not reoffend within a set time frame. This is similar to the payment by results concept within the health service. This saw the influx of program managers being employed within the public sector. We also have performance indicators within the Local Authority which measure assessment time frames and timely reviews of LAC. Non-profit sector- The non-profit sector is concerned with improving programs to produce outcomes. This has resulted from the new commissioning guide lines where contracts dictate agreed outcomes linked to funding.
I have chosen the logic model for evaluation and am going to discuss its strengths and weaknesses. A logic model is an evaluation tool that provides a way of illustrating a program visually so it can be understood by all stake holders. It can be presented in table format which can be presented in easy read language thus can involve clients with disabilities. It shows planned activities and results expected from it and there is no right or wrong way of developing the model. It provides a picture or diagram of what is going to be done and what the program evaluation is going to be. The Logic model has three approaches to evaluation:
It is a client centred (bottom up approach) approach it starts with the desired effects or results and works up to outlining how we will get the results. It is best used when evaluating an existing activity. Within this research it will look at the existing processes of weather the voice of the child is heard within the Looked after Children Review (LAC)? Top down approach starting with the pre-planned program activities and strategies that can evaluate a program in its developmental phase, within the process of LAC review where the voice of the child is a concept that the government is wanting in place. The Independent Reviewing Manager is responsible for ensuring the voice of the child is heard. The most important strength of the Logic Model is that both approaches can be used at the same time. Benefits and limitations of the Logic Model
It is a usefully program planning and evaluation tool. It is simple yet complex it can be time consuming as you seek to involve all stake holders. It may not always address weather we are doing the right thing and get caught up in creating the model then weather the program is the right thing to do. It mat stifle...