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Program Logic

Program logic is the rationale behind a program. That is, an analytical tool that assists with understanding how the expected cause-and-effect relationships between program activities, outputs, intermediate outcomes, and longer term desired outcomes.

Program logic shows a sequence of expected consequences, not just a sequence of events. Clear program logic shows the longer term outcomes (20-50 years) rather than depicting the shorter term outcomes seen for example in an investment cycle and provides a theory of change that can be tested. It can assist in determining when and what to evaluate so that MERI resources are used effectively and efficiently.

Namoi CMA has presented the results hierarchy as program logic tables in the MERI Program plans. Within the MERI Plans, the program logic tables can be used through the evaluation process to inform:
• Development of evaluation questions
• What processes need to be examined for each type of evaluation
• Information needs
• Performance indicators
• Information collection methods
• Information storage by identifying what information should be compared to what
• Information analysis methods.

The program logic tables ideally are developed collaboratively to increase capacity and awareness of evaluation and involvement in the evaluation process, to draw on others knowledge and to enhance the final product through debate and negotiation.

As the program logic tables are not static, the current tables are not included in the MERI strategy; rather they are included as the main underlying philosophy behind this strategy. In this way, the program logic tables can be embedded across all MERI plans in a way that is contextually relevant.


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Namoi Catchment Management Authority, 2013