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Logic charts

The evaluation framework for a funding scheme or programme, including stated objectives, expected outcomes and impacts, as well as identification of metric data to be collected for evaluation purposes during the lifetime of the scheme, should be established at the design phase of the scheme. As an aid to developing evaluation frameworks for its various funding schemes, the HRB employs the logic chart (or logic model).

 Logic charts are schematic diagrams representing the objectives and desired impacts of a programme or scheme. When applied to HRB funding schemes, they connect the scheme objectives to what the HRB is doing to facilitate these (activities) and what the HRB expects to achieve as a result of funding research under the scheme (impacts).  Furthermore, a logic chart helps put the scheme objectives into context by linking them to longer-term aims of the HRB (mission and corporate strategic objectives).

In total, there are seven levels to the logic chart used by the HRB:

  • HRB mission : the highest level from which all other levels fall
  • HRB strategic objectives : those strategic objectives in the HRB corporate strategy that relate to research funding
  • Scheme objectives : the specific aims of the scheme to be established by the HRB
  • Activities : the actions and functions employed by the HRB to ensure that the scheme is established and managed to achieve its objectives
  • Immediate impacts : the direct effects and short-term outputs expected during the course of the research funded under the scheme
  • Intermediate impacts : this describes the outputs and outcomes expected to be achieved at, or shortly after the end of research funded under the scheme e.g. 3-5 years after the end of the research.  The timescale for this can vary depending on the nature of the research (eg basic biomedical vs applied clinical research)
  • Ultimate impacts : this refers to the long-term outcomes and impacts arising from the research funded under the scheme that may be expected some time after the research is completed (eg 6-10 years)

The levels link hierarchically i.e. immediate impacts result from the activities. Also, intermediate impacts should achieve the scheme objectives, and ultimate impacts should go some way towards achieving the overall objectives. Most formal evaluations are typically concerned with the extent to which the 'impact' levels of the logic chart have been achieved, in relation to the scheme objectives and activity levels. Depending on the outcome of an evaluation, the scheme activities may be amended in order to better achieve the scheme objectives and the expected impacts. Ideally, measures of efficiency (i.e. process goals) and effectiveness (output/outcome indicators) should fall from the logic chart and direct the collection of data and information for subsequent evaluations.

 Logic charts have also been developed for all current HRB funding schemes and will be reviewed annually and modified as appropriate as a result of context reviews and process/impact evaluations.


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