Temporal Logic Model (TLM)
An alternative model to the traditional logic model, it could include program responsiveness to environmental changes through periodically recording contextual changes, making an interim assessment, and integrating any subsequent modifications.
(Heyer, M. (2002). “The Temporal Logic Model Concept”. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 17 (2), pp. 27-47.)
The International Development Research Centre's (IDRC) Evaluation Unit has researched and developed the Temporal Logical Model (TLM) as an alternative model to the traditional logic model (LFA). TLM could include program responsiveness to environmental changes and the organizational learning process. TLM achieves this through periodically recording contextual changes, making an interim assessment, and integrating any subsequent modifications.
Traditional logic models illustrate a hard systems perspective of social development programs. In contrast, the TLM was designed as a soft system that could assist stakeholders to understand the program as an open system, essentially expanding the model to reflect an increasing understanding of our reality. This allows the stakeholder's understanding and documentation of the program to evolve with the program's implementation.
Although the general purpose is to provide program stakeholders with an effective tool to monitor process, the TLM's potential has evolved to include several additional theoretical and practical attributes that standard logic models lack. The possible range of attributes for the TLM are:
(1). The TLM is complementary to the social learning process.
(2). The TLM does not have a specified time-frame.
(3). The TLM provides the flexibility to be responsive to the program context.
(4). The TLM focuses on monitoring and recording the process.
(5). The TLM can be used as a strategic decision-making tool.
(6). The TLM captures unintended results.
(7). The TLM provides a chronology of program history.
(8). As a monitoring tool, the TLM promotes dialogue between the donor and recipient.
In addition to the theoretical characteristics, a number of practical issues are embedded in the design. They are as follows:
(1). The TLM is applicable to different stages of the program
(2). The structure of the TLM should explicitly illustrate that the program is an ongoing process in which monitoring and periodical reflection of the program design is necessary.
(3) The TLM' was formatted to read like a newspaper, without cross-referencing within the framework.
Given the nature of implementation, problems with the TLM are bound to arise. Every tool is subject to the dangers of conceptual misunderstandings and misuse. There are also a number of program specific issues (entrenched hierarchical structures, irreconcilable differences among stakeholders, etc.) that can impede the development of a program vision, & multi-stakeholder approach, or a program modification. These types of situations highlight the fact that logic models are simple tools designed to assist humans through program planning and management. Without stakeholder "buy-in" to actualize the tool, the logic model remains just a chart.