Stage two: create an outcomes triangle and logic model

The ‘outcomes triangle' gives an overview of how culture and sport contribute to local priorities, either overall or under a specific policy theme such as older people. It shows the different levels of outcome that culture and sport provision contribute to: service outcomes, intermediate outcomes and overarching strategic outcomes.

The ‘logic model' illustrates the main links between service activities and local outcomes. It shows understanding of the benefits of culture and sport to individuals, communities and places, and how these in turn contribute to the achievement of intermediate and overarching strategic outcomes.

1. Decide how to capture your thinking and decisions

Find a way to capture your thinking and decisions from each step as you go, for example on flip charts or ‘post-it' notes, into a Word document or directly into the outcomes triangle and logic model templates that are available to download.

Outcomes triangle template (Word doc, 1 page, 115KB)

Logic model template (Powerpoint, 1 page, 129KB)

2. List your overarching and intermediate outcomes

Start by identifying the overarching strategic outcomes you need to demonstrate that culture and sport contribute towards for your chosen policy theme (or for several policy themes if you are creating a generic framework). Then identify your intermediate outcomes.

Use your local strategic plan, vision statements, partnership agreements, corporate plan or other key strategic or partnership documents. You can use the examples on this website to give you ideas.

Definitions of overarching strategic outcomes, intermediate outcomes and service outcomes

3. List your service outcomes

List your culture and sport service outcomes. Use your culture or sport strategies, action plans, business plans, department or service plans, and partnership or funding agreements to identify them. You can also use the examples on this website for ideas.

4. List the culture and sport activities your service or organisation provides or supports

Identify and group the culture and sport activities you provide or support. For example, facilities, performances and events, development and outreach work or volunteering opportunities. This does not need to be very detailed unless it is useful to you to do it that way.

5. Identify and challenge your assumptions about the links between activities and service outcomes

Think about the activities you provide or support. How and why do they lead to the service outcomes being achieved? Do all the activities clearly contribute to the desired service outcomes? Look at all your activities and all your service outcomes in turn. Challenge the robustness of your assumptions. Do you know of any local or national evidence to demonstrate the links?

For example, you may support outreach work in the form of a rural touring scheme that promotes arts performances in community venues and runs arts activities in local schools (activity A). One of your key service outcomes (B) may be to increase attendances and active participation in culture and sport by both young people and adults. Your assumption about the contribution A makes to B is that attendances and participation will be increased by providing accessible and affordable arts performances for adults in community venues, and by providing young people with an opportunity to take part in arts activity in their own school.

Local evidence could be in the form of a programme evaluation that shows that the performance attracts new audiences and that young people both participated in the arts and valued the experience.

Think about where the strongest connections might be between activities and service outcomes; there's no need to list them all. Use the logic model examples for ideas.

6. Identify the benefits of delivering your service outcomes and the contribution to intermediate and overarching strategic outcomes

List the benefits to individuals, communities or places if you achieve your service outcomes. Then look at your local intermediate and overarching strategic outcomes and identify how or why each service outcome and the benefits contribute.

For example, if a service outcome is to get more older people involved in volunteering in culture and sport and this is achieved, one of the benefits might be an increased understanding of local services and community issues among individual older people. This in turn will contribute to an intermediate outcome of ‘more older people playing a full part in their local community as active citizens' and to an overarching strategic outcome that ‘older people are more physically, socially and mentally active'.

Think about where the strongest connections might be and what local or national evidence is available to support them. Use the logic model examples to give you ideas.

7. Complete your outcomes triangle and logic model

If you have not already done so, use the lists you have developed to create your final version of an outcomes triangle and logic model.

Your logic model could be in table or list form or in a diagram (as shown in the examples). If you are creating a logic model diagram, don't try to connect everything! Be pragmatic and only draw lines between the activities, benefits and outcomes where they best illustrate the case you want to make and where the most robust evidence is available.

If you are developing an outcomes framework for a number of policy themes, repeat these steps for each theme.

Stage three: review the evidence

Back to Stage one


9 July 2012

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