Girls Group Mentoring Toolkit

This Girls Group Mentoring Toolkit provides the tools, resources and support to create, implement, deliver and evaluate a quality group mentoring program for girls, ages 9-13, in your community. The Toolkit is intended to be used in a range of communities, and can be adapted to the unique values, needs, strengths and challenges that each community encompasses.

Planning Your Program

Logic Model

Why should I invest the time in creating a logic model?

Crafting a logic model at the outset of planning is useful to identify the many details that will be added as program components and practices are identified. Establishing a visual representation can create a familiar blueprint for all stakeholders and provide a framework for building, implementing and evaluating the program.

Once your Theory of Change is developed, the next step in program planning is the creation of a program logic model. “Logic models are rooted within theories of change and use words and/or pictures to describe the sequence of activities thought to bring about change and how these activities are linked to the results the program is expected to achieve. The process for thinking through change includes: 

  • Identifying the problem(s) (What is the community need?)
  • Naming the desired results (What is the vision for the future?)
  • Developing the strategy for achieving the goal(s) (How can the vision be achieved?)”

- Evaluation Toolkit (2014)

The ‘logic’ behind the model, similar to the Theory of Change, is a series of ‘if, then’ connections. In a logic model, if certain inputs are provided, then specific activities can be performed. If those activities are performed, then outputs will result. If outputs are produced, then short-term outcomes will be achieved. If short-term outcomes are achieved, then long-term outcomes will be realized.

Similar to the Theory of Change, a logic model is a fluid document that should change regularly.  Include the date at the top of your logic model, because it is an accurate depiction of your program on that day. Revisit it in 6 months and ask: Is it still accurate? After months of experience in the program, have things changed? Include those changes in the model, and then make sure you put the new date at the top. Once again, a logic model is most useful when created in collaboration with key stakeholders.

Key elements of a Logic Model:

Logic Model Components

Questions to Consider

Additional Information

Examples

Identified Need(s) & Assumptions

What needs will the program address?

Includes program reach, which is the extent to which a program attracts its intended audience. Consider the characteristics of the participants and the focus of the program.

To create leadership opportunities for girls ages 9−13; To support girls in “x” neighbourhood to develop healthy connections with adult role models.

Inputs (Resources)

What goes into the program?

Inputs describe the financial, human, and material resources used for the initiative. It is also helpful to consider time as an input and ‘in kind’ inputs, too.

Staff time, community meeting space, grant, programs, community leaders, etc.

Activities

What goes on in the program?

Activities are what the program does with the resources. Activities are the processes, tools, events and actions that are an intentional part of the program implementation. These activities are used to bring about the intended changes or results.

Weekly structured mentoring sessions; sessions & workshops on “x” topic; small group discussion & sharing on personal goals; community outings & volunteer opportunities; leadership activities; large group gatherings.

Outputs

What happens as a result of the program?

Outputs refer to the tangible products developed for the initiative.

Deliver 10 sessions; host 3 large gatherings; match 5 groups of girls with a mentor.

Reach

Who is the direct beneficiary?

Reach refers to participants, clients and beneficiaries of the program. This could include the program participants (girls and mentors), the community, the school, the family, etc.

Girls aged 9−13 in the community; adult women/older teens (mentors); community stakeholders (if there is a volunteer component).

Outcomes (short-term)

What positive impact does the program have?

Outcomes describe the achievements of an ini­tiative and its immediate or direct effects on those who participated in it. Short-term outcomes include changes in awareness, knowledge, behaviour, and decision-making.

Increase confidence; increase knowledge of gender stereotypes; media literacy skills; positive attitude toward school; stronger understanding of healthy relationships.

Outcomes (long-term)

What significant impact will result from having a program in place over the long term?

Includes achievements of an initiative and its immediate long-term effects on those who participated in it. Long-term outcomes include changes in behaviours and broader lifestyle and societal changes.

Increase number of positive relationship in girls’ lives; decrease school dropout; increased community engagement; improved health and well-being.

Once your draft logic model has been developed, it can be helpful to test the accuracy of the information. This can be done as a team exercise or individually, but you want to ‘check the logic’ and ensure that it makes sense to everyone involved.

When planning a program, inputs should be given lots of consideration. The Evaluation of Phase 2 of the Canadian Women’s Foundation Girls’ Fund Highlights Report (2014) found that most of the program delivery challenges related to logistics such as transportation, attendance, difficulty in finding program space, and scheduling mentors and guest speakers. For further support on planning these types of logistics, check out the Program & Meetings Sections of this toolkit.

Examples of other inputs include:

  • Program Structure: How will mentors and mentees sign up for the program? Who is responsible for the referral process? How often will the matches/ group meet? How long will the program last? (one semester, the whole year)
  • Staffing: Who oversees the program? What type of supervision will they provide?
  • Stakeholders and Partners: Is there any community involvement in the program? Provide a list of partners and how they will be involved.
  • Resources: What is the program’s budget? What outside resources will be required to deliver the program? What resources can be accessed at your school? What will it cost to run your program?

It’s important to remember that not all logic models look the same. Although all models represent a logical connection between inputs, activities, outputs and intended outcomes, they are also representative of how a particular group understands and sees their program.

Example Logic Models from Canadian Women’s Foundation Girls’ Fund Grantees:

  • Logic Model Example 1 - BGCSCBC
  • Logic Model Example 2 - YCambridge
  • Logic Model Example 3 mentoring and program - CIWA
  • Logic Model Example 4 mentoring and program - TWN
  • What is the difference between an output and an outcome?

    An output involves something being produced (e.g. number of sessions, brochures, awareness campaigns, etc.). It could be in the form of the quantity of a good or service. Other than the creation of the actual ‘output’, no measured change in behaviour, attitude or societal improvement takes place.

    Examples of outputs include: number and composition of matches; number of group meetings; length of the program; number of staff; documents created for the program (e.g. administrative, training); media releases; public awareness documents (e.g. posters, bookmarks, postcards).

    On the other hand, an outcome is the result of the activities and action. The outcome answers the question: “So what?” Outcomes are another way to identify long-term or ultimate impacts, yet outcomes look beyond the immediate results of an initiative and identifies longer-term effects, as well as any unintended or unanticipated consequences.
     
    Examples of outcomes include: Knowledge of a certain topic; increased confidence; greater community engagement; and increased school attendance.

    Key Take-Aways
    Preparing for and operating girls group mentoring programs involves completing several key activities. This section shared instruction on creating a logic model and theory of change. Remember the following:

    • An important place to start is to identify the outcomes or the change you want to see take place as a result of the program.
    • You can develop an “if … then” statement to describe how the change will take place.
    • Creating a logic model is a great way to depict the theory of change and it will show a connection between activities and desired outcomes. Don’t forget to include key stakeholders when planning the program.

    Contact: mentoringgirls(at)canadianwomen.org