The Role of Logic Modeling in a Collaborative and Iterative Research Process

Lessons from Research and Analysis Conducted with the Federal Voting Assistance Program

by Victoria A. Greenfield, Shoshana R. Shelton, Edward Balkovich

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Research Question

  1. What method did the RAND team use to help the agency realign its strategy and operations, and can it be generalized?

In early 2013, the leadership of the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) commissioned the RAND National Defense Research Institute to undertake a collaborative, multiyear project known formally as FVAP and the Road Ahead. The project was established to assist FVAP in aligning its strategy and operations to better serve its mission and stakeholders and to strengthen FVAP's capacity to set its own course, embrace change, and communicate its role in the voting community. This report focuses on the collaborative development and application of the logic model, which served as the analytical foundation for the project. It describes the underlying method and frames the approach in generalizable step-by-step terms, drawing examples from the project with FVAP. The report derives from a more-detailed report that more fully documents both the process and its results, including recommendations, guidance, and organizational change.

Key Findings

The RAND Team Used a Highly Collaborative Approach to Logic Modeling in Its Work with FVAP and It Can Be Generalized in Step-by-Step Terms

The Collaborative Elements of the FVAP Project Were Critical to Its Success, but a Collaborative Approach Can Be Costly Relative to Other More Hands-Off Approaches

  • The collaborative approach might be more likely than other approaches to meet an organization's needs, engender buy-in from leadership and staff, and result in sustainable change.
  • Collaboration requires more resources and can entail additional risks of early action and cooption. Although the resource requirements are unavoidable, steps can be taken to mitigate the risks of early action and cooption.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Nature of a Logic Model

  • Chapter Three

    A Collaborative Implementation of the Logic Model

  • Chapter Four

    Concluding Remarks

  • Appendix A

    Logic-Modeling Workshop Materials

  • Appendix B

    Evidence of Change

This research was sponsored by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) and conducted within the Forces and Resources Policy Center and the Acquisition and Technology Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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