In 2022, we and our colleagues published the journal article: A Scoping Review of the Evaluation and Effectiveness of Technical Assistance in Implementation Science Communications, which summarizes the state of the science of technical assistance (TA) evaluation and effectiveness. We found that much of the TA that is conducted is reactive/responsive, experiential, without a systematic approach, and output-oriented (e.g., number of meetings, length of meetings, and topics discussed). The expected outcomes are often not stated—or perhaps even thought about. At other times, expected outcomes are overly ambitious, given the real-life challenges on the ground, such as the limited ability of TA to directly influence the actual implementation of the recipient’s learning. Therefore, we developed a TA Effectiveness Logic Model to help explicate logically what might be expected from different inputs and activities of TA. The TA Effectiveness Logic Model that we use in our practice is a skeletal frame to guide TA planning, implementation, and evaluation. This logic model illustrates a theory of change for a set of TA activities using the domains of inputs, processes, outputs, and outcomes. Moreover, the TA Effectiveness Logic Model may be a valuable tool for developing reporting standards. We have used versions of the logic model in a number of projects that have included a large training and TA center funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation to educate healthcare organizations about communicable diseases and CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America), a large training and TA center that works with hundreds of community coalitions for substance abuse prevention. The figure below illustrates an example of this TA Effectiveness Logic Model. (For your convenience, the article title above is a hyperlink that will forward to the scoping review.)
Contributed by Victoria Scott and founder Abraham Wandersman
Suggested citation: Wandersman, A. and Scott, V. A (2022). Technical Assistance (TA) Effectiveness Logic Model, www.wandersmancenter.org.