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The three-headed hydra of apathy, envy and fear is not a fan of planning nor logic. Why? Reasons!

Why plan and use a logic model for project development? It helps us science the sh-t out of urgently needed solutions.


This twenty-part series introduces you to twenty key terms used in a local mobilizing process that you and your community will require to survive and thrive during colliding crises. The articles will reference the three-headed hydra of apathy, envy and fear, those people in positions of power who are fighting to keep a broken status quo.

Concept 14: logic model

Imagine you determine, amid a pandemic, that increasing access to health care could be done quite efficiently by turning your public school into a fully-resourced community school with school-based medical and mental health care for students and their families.

This is a big project, and instead of guessing your way through the development process, you can create a plan to share with all community and school stakeholders for buy-in.

One key planning tool we use to design projects, focused on increasing access to ten vital services for surviving and thriving (including community schools), is a logic model. This is a one-page document with a visual representation of a plan to guide a project that includes the project’s hypothesis, goal, purpose, inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes.

Can we be logical about this? Absolutely!

The more carefully thought out a plan, the better chance for conducting a successful local innovation. And the more detailed the logic model can be — as a good map with clear paths — the better chance of getting buy-in for projects, as well as having a shared vision, goals and objectives. Take a look at our 100% Community initiative logic model components (you can find the graphic representation in the book’s appendices). The entire logic model fits on one sheet of paper, easily emailed to every county stakeholder. Not only is the logic model used to guide the entire initiative, it’s used by action team leaders to develop each of their projects.

There are many ways to design a logic model, with a variety of sections. We use the following format:

  • Hypothesis (the research-based assumption guiding the project)

Let’s take a look at each of the components of a logic model. In this example, let us imagine you wish to launch a county coalition dedicated to ensuring ten vital services for surviving and thriving for all residents.


If we provide to all county residents the ten vital services for surviving and thriving, we increase their capacity for good health and positive outcomes from birth to work to retirement, including school achievement, job readiness, and self-sufficiency.


Build the capacity of each community within a county’s borders to create a seamless and networked countywide system of care, safety, emergency preparedness and education for 100% of residents. Ensure that each community has the resources and structure for emergency management.


Educate elected leaders and stakeholders on the need for and benefits of ensuring that all residents have access to the ten services for surviving and thriving. Develop a hub for competency-based online learning for county leaders in ten vital surviving and thriving service sectors. Use continuous quality improvement (CQI — Assess, Plan, Act, Evaluate) to improve quality of and access to ten vital services shown to strengthen families. Finally, evaluate progress.


  • State lawmakers who serve the county


(Each of these activities is measurable.)

  • Identify co-organizers and ten action team leaders to use collective impact model to guide initiative


  • Measure satisfaction and user experience of those taking course and engaging with the initiative

Short-term Outcomes

(In normal times, these activities could take a year. In times of crisis, we need to respond rapidly to establish governance, communication and awareness of gaps in services.)

  • Establish effective and transparent governance of 100% Community initiative with governmental or non-governmental organizations, securing evaluation processes.

Intermediate Outcomes

(Under normal circumstances, these activities could take 2–4 years. During a crisis, we need to respond rapidly to increase access to vital services.)

  • Increased access to ten vital surviving and thriving services

Long-term Outcomes

(Depending on the level of urgency, and commitment to funding from heroic leaders, the timeline could be measured in months or years.)

  • Increase access for all county residents to ten surviving and thriving services

A million reasons to use a logic model. Here’s ours.

A logic model helps 100% Community initiative action teams (and partners who include elected city, county and state leaders) focus on each projected outcome they want to achieve with a project.Their desired outcomes are a direct result of their activities, mapped out in the process of designing a logic model with colleagues. Logic models work best when they clearly illustrate (in graphics and text) what the 100% Community initiative (as a whole) and each action team is trying to accomplish. For example, increasing timely access to medical care.

Planning quickly yet calmly in times of crisis

There’s a funny scene from the movie The Martian in which an astronaut stranded on Mars and facing death says, “So, in the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option: I’m going to have to science the sh*t out of this.” That is where many of us may find ourselves as we plan to address a public health crisis. And yes, with focused research, the astronaut survives. Similarly, using the frameworks of continuous quality improvement and collective impact, we can science our way to a collective vision of 100% access to ten vital services. Logic models can serve as the map we use to get there.

See 100% Community, Chapter 38: The Logic of the 100% Community

The future is what we make it. Join the evolution.

Please excuse any typos as I construct an article at 3am on only one cup of Joe. These stories are mine and mine alone. I do not represent any organization here. If one of my illustrations looks like a real human or three-headed hydra, that’s total coincidence. Words and images ©Dominic Cappello but share with everyone you know. Questions? Answers await you here:

Written by

A NY Times bestselling author, social justice activist, Oprah guest, co-author of Attack of the Three-Headed Hydras, 100% Community and Anna, Age Eight.

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