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Program theory evaluation: Logic analysis


  • Brousselle, Astrid
  • Champagne, François


Program theory evaluation, which has grown in use over the past 10 years, assesses whether a program is designed in such a way that it can achieve its intended outcomes. This article describes a particular type of program theory evaluation--logic analysis--that allows us to test the plausibility of a program's theory using scientific knowledge. Logic analysis is useful for improving the intervention or finding alternatives for achieving intended outcomes; it influences the choice of type of evaluation to conduct and strengthens the validity of subsequent evaluations. The objective of this article is to present the methodological principles and the roots of this type of program theory evaluation. We illustrate two types of logic analysis with two actual evaluation cases. There are very few published examples of program theory evaluation. This article will provide evaluators with both theoretical and practical information to help them in conceptualizing their evaluations.

Suggested Citation

  • Brousselle, Astrid & Champagne, François, 2011. "Program theory evaluation: Logic analysis," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 69-78, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:34:y:2011:i:1:p:69-78

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lipsey, Mark W. & Pollard, John A., 1989. "Driving toward theory in program evaluation: More models to choose from," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 317-328, January.
    2. Frenk, Julio, 1992. "Balancing relevance and excellence: Organizational responses to link research with decision making," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 1397-1404, December.
    3. B Markham & J Lomas, 1995. "Review of the Multi-hospital Arrangements Literature: Benefits, Disadvantages and Lessons for Implementation," Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis Working Paper Series 1995-08, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA), McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
    4. Davis, Peter & Howden-Chapman, Philippa, 1996. "Translating research findings into health policy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 865-872, September.
    5. Chen, Huey-Tsyh & Rossi, Peter H., 1987. "The theory-driven approach to validity," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 95-103, January.
    6. Renger, Ralph & Hurley, Carolyn, 2006. "From theory to practice: Lessons learned in the application of the ATM approach to developing logic models," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 106-119, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Deane, Kelsey L. & Harré, Niki, 2014. "Program theory-driven evaluation science in a youth development context," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 61-70.
    2. Abdul-Manan, Amir F.N. & Baharuddin, Azizan & Chang, Lee Wei, 2015. "Application of theory-based evaluation for the critical analysis of national biofuel policy: A case study in Malaysia," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 39-49.
    3. Park, Chul Hyun & Welch, Eric W. & Sriraj, P.S., 2016. "An integrative theory-driven framework for evaluating travel training programs," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 7-20.
    4. Nikpay, Fatemeh & Ahmad, Rodina & Yin Kia, Chiam, 2017. "A hybrid method for evaluating enterprise architecture implementation," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 1-16.
    5. Contandriopoulos, Damien & Brousselle, Astrid & Breton, Mylaine & Sangster-Gormley, Esther & Kilpatrick, Kelley & Dubois, Carl-Ardy & Brault, Isabelle & Perroux, Mélanie, 2016. "Nurse practitioners, canaries in the mine of primary care reform," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(6), pages 682-689.
    6. Hickey, Gráinne & McGilloway, Sinead & O’Brien, Morgan & Leckey, Yvonne & Devlin, Maurice, 2015. "A theory-based evaluation of a community-based funding scheme in a disadvantaged suburban city area," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 61-69.
    7. Tremblay, Marie-Claude & Brousselle, Astrid & Richard, Lucie & Beaudet, Nicole, 2013. "Defining, illustrating and reflecting on logic analysis with an example from a professional development program," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 64-73.
    8. Cartier, Yuri & Benmarhnia, Tarik & Brousselle, Astrid, 2015. "Tool for assessing health and equity impacts of interventions modifying air quality in urban environments," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-9.
    9. Dunkley, Ria A. & Franklin, Alex, 2017. "Failing better: The stochastic art of evaluating community-led environmental action programs," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 112-122.
    10. repec:eee:epplan:v:66:y:2018:i:c:p:183-194 is not listed on IDEAS


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