Assessment of the underlying causal logic
CPP 520 – Program Evaluation & Policy Analysis for Emergency Management & Homeland Security
Unit 2: Written Assignment #1 Logic Model (Program Overview Assessment)
Length and Grading: Approx 5 to 7 page paper; 100-point scale, 23.3% of final course score
Due date: Please see the course schedule document for details
Logic Model Assignment: Description & Assessment of Policy or Program Operations
This is the first written assignment for the course. As stated in the syllabus (Section III, part A): “The purpose of the assigned written work [in this course] is
threefold: (1) the assignments…afford students the opportunity to demonstrate substantive understanding of materials covered in course readings, lectures, and online discussion,
(2) the assignments…permit students to develop and demonstrate research, analytic and written communication skills, and
(3) the written work permits the instructor to assess student knowledge, skills and ability within this subject domain.” This logic model evaluation paper is related to the assigned content covered in Units 1 and 2 and is explicitly intended to meet the learning objectives stated in the unit materials and the course syllabus.
Students should use an APA citation format for any documents (reports, prior research studies) referenced in the paper.
Logic Model Assignment Requirements:
The first written assignment asks students to select any emergency or disaster management or homeland security-related program or a policy administered by a public agency at any level of government. The student will present an assessment of the underlying causal logic—explaining how the program or policy is intended to function and how it yields specific outputs and outcomes. To do so, the student should provide a short logic model description, including a graphic representation, of the selected program or policy implementation effort, and an assessment of efficacy in practice.
In terms of assignment details: the student’s task for this assignment is to provide a descriiption of how a policy or program operates in practice. There is no set maximum or minimum length assigned, but about a
5-7 page paper is anticipated given it would be difficult to address assignment elements in any shorter length. Papers that are longer than 7 pages are acceptable. Please note: the paper should include a graphical representation of program operations or policy elements as this is a basic feature of any logic model presentation.
In terms of substance and structure: the paper should provide a very short background on the public sector agency selected, coupled with an overview of the policy or program being assessed. The paper then should provide a logic model depiction of the policy or program, and guide the reader through an explanation of its “inputs,” “activities,” and “outcomes” elements. (The unit readings and lecture materials will provide further guidance on logic models as an analytic tool.) The paper should characterize how these elements interact and function in terms of producing observable outcomes (either or both short or long-term outcomes, depending on the particulars of the program/policy being observed). The paper should conclude with a brief analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the efficacy of the design and functioning of the policy or program’s internal logic.
In sum: select a policy or program of interest to you, research the basic operational elements and purpose, provide a short background on the organization and program, present the logic model (including a standard graphical representation of operational elements), and then assess, briefly, what you see as the strengths or weaknesses of the program’s operating logic in practice.
Purpose and learning objectives of the assignment:
A logic model is a widely used tool in assessing public policies and programs. This assignment assists student KSA development in terms of producing an original logic model, including analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a real-world policy or program’s design and application. The assignment related to concepts and issues covered in Units 1 and 2 of the course and assists students in learning how to identify and assess causal relationships, as well as helping develop basic research and policy analysis skills. Finally, the assignment helps continued improvement in written communication skills as well permitting students to improve subject area knowledge about a program or policy relevant to their career interests.