EPISODE 3

Eloping to Alaska

CONTRIBUTORS

Luce Jean Baptiste
Ashley Neuman
Camila Pinzon
Sean Tipton

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SEAN: All right, go ahead and hit it.

CAMILA: All right-y Hi and welcome. We are two students trying to figure out program evaluation, not because we want to but because we have to. My name's Camilla and I'm here with Sean and we're both public administration students trying to figure this out. Take it away, Sean.

SEAN: Hey, how's it going?

CAMILA: So can you tell us a little bit about how we were dealing with this right now? Face to-- we're not even face to face, just camera to camera.

SEAN: It's true.

CAMILA: Figuring out with this whole pandemic.

SEAN: We are in the midst of a pandemic, you're right. So you'll have to forgive us for any technical difficulties you may experience as you listen to this. But we are doing a Zoom meeting to try to get through this podcast. So hopefully it doesn't sound too bad, but we are going to go over logic models today.

A logic model is really a tool that program evaluators can use to examine an entire program from start to finish. It's broken down into four areas. The first one is inputs, which are resources dedicated to or consumed by the organization. Activities it is the second, which is the actual program services. Then we have outputs, which are the results. And our outcomes is the final piece, which is the attitude, skills, behaviors, and conditions that change over the long term.

CAMILA: So all that is very technical. One of the really cool things about our class was the way that we were able to figure this out. We actually got to use Sean's example. Well, we don't know how things are going but way back when we were back in the classroom, we had planned out his wedding. He had this really awesome idea of eloping in Alaska. So we figured we'd use our logic model to kind of help him plan out his wedding and what he needed. We'll see.

SEAN: That was the plan. Whether or not we're still taking a cruise to Alaska is definitely, we'll see. Cruises are definitely, I would say, probably not the best idea right now. But it's over a year away so who knows. Maybe it'll be fine by then.

CAMILA: And maybe even cheaper if you book ahead once this whole thing comes down.

SEAN: That's true, the prices seem to be going down, down, down, so that might be good for me. All right, so we're looking here-- and we'll include a picture in the description of this podcast so that you can look at it as well-- of my plan to elope in Alaska with my fiance.

In the first section we have our inputs. So again, inputs are everything that goes into a program. So for instance, in my case we have our tax returns to pay for things, our savings. The participants, hopefully there's somebody to elope with, you don't want to elope by yourself. I don't even know if you can. And, of course, the location where we're going to go do it. So in my case we've got the money, we have the place, we have the participants. These are the inputs.

If for let's say, your nonprofit was a Meals on Wheels sort of deal, it might be the food, it could be the vehicles, it could be the people who get the meals, the people who deliver the meals, the people who make the meals, the money. Everything that goes into your program goes into those inputs.

CAMILA: So you're talking about inputs. Sorry about that, we had a little minor glitch. In your inputs you get a really good example of Meals on Wheels. And the things that they have to go along with it. And how in a sense, yours have to go with in regards to your wedding planning. Like the money, booking the flights and everything like that. How did it feel seeing that I guess-- I think it's just the first step, but seeing that I guess on the white board in class?

SEAN: Well, it had all been very-- as my fiance and I had been planning it, it's been kind of very nebulous. It wasn't anything firm, really, we've just been kind of talking about it. So seeing it get written down, and what we want to do actually put down pen to paper sort of deal. In this case white board marker to white board. To see it coming about really made it like, oh this is real, hey, we're actually going to do this, how cool is that sort of thing. So definitely it was a fun experience. And I appreciated everybody's help making it work too.

CAMILA: Yeah, I was grateful that you let us use your example. I was like, oh no we don't really know each other that well. And your wedding is a big personal thing you do normally with family. So to have it out there on the whiteboard I was like, this is easy. Because my sister's also getting married.

Ironically enough, she's going through with it. Hers is April 19. And none of my family can come and [INAUDIBLE]. Nobody's coming. Hers was supposed to be a big ceremony with family, but my family lives abroad. So she's still getting married by herself. I guess I'll be the only one presently representing my family. But, yeah, it was crazy. So I'm grateful that yours is a year away.

SEAN: Me too.

CAMILA: So you still have time to [INAUDIBLE].

SEAN: I feel so bad for your sister. Oh, no. Well, congratulations to her, I suppose.

CAMILA: Yeah.

SEAN: All right.

CAMILA: We'll see how that goes. But, OK, so second step. You said inputs and then we go to--

SEAN: Activities. So activities are the actual meat and potatoes of your program. Is what you're actually doing. So this could be the actual delivery of the meals to the people, it could be the actual mentoring program that you're doing. It's the fatherhood parental workshops. It's the actual thing.

So in this case, for the planning of our wedding, it was to book the cruise and to book the excursions, to go and do the cruise itself would be the activities. Getting the wedding package to get the helicopter to take us up to a glacier for when we actually get married. All of that stuff is going to be in the activities. It's the actual meat and potatoes of your program are there in activities.

CAMILA: So let's talk a little bit about that so we can kind of visualize it. Have you looked at any of that prior to, I guess class or prior to the pandemic starting?

SEAN: Yeah we had--

CAMILA: Had you looked at budgets and what you were thinking? Have you even looked at that now, to see the difference? To see maybe how much money you'd be saving afterwards?

SEAN: Well, we definitely had been looking into it. We'd been looking through the different photographers, because that's how it kind of got started. We were looking through photographers and photography sessions up in Anchorage, and then started looking at cruise stuff. Have we looked at it since this pandemic has started? To be honest with you, not really. We're kind of not thinking about it because it almost feels a little ruined at this point. So we may revisit this after the pandemic has passed a little bit.

CAMILA: Fair enough, yeah. I'm just wondering because I have another friend ironically who is also getting married May 1. And she's going through with it. Thankfully her family's here so that's a different case.

But her honeymoon was to Cancun, Mexico. And before this whole thing started, travel for flights were $300 per person round trip. And right now because of everything-- I know this is not probably the best thing to be excited about or we shouldn't be traveling and exposing ourselves. However, the flights right now are like $180 round trip per person. So it's almost half. So that was just crazy. I mean, I'm trying to shed some light and positivity throughout this whole thing. Little light at the end of the tunnel.

SEAN: I'm trying to think of a different analogy and I can't, so it's fine.

CAMILA: No worries.

SEAN: All right, moving on to our third part which is our outputs. Outputs are the actual numbered results. It's the number of meals that you delivered, it's the number of miles you put on the car, it's the number of people who completed your workshop. It's the actual tangible results if you will. So in the case of our wedding, it'd be two newlyweds, it would be one helicopter, one priest, one photographer, seven days on a cruise, four days in the Airbnbs, and the use of the four resources.

All right, so it is going down and it's saying that we took the inputs, we put them through the activities, and these are the outputs we get from those activities. So again, you took the meal preppers, the vehicles, the number of meals that you made. You put them into the activity, which was driving them out to the people, and the outputs is the number of meals you actually delivered. So those are the outputs, the tangible, real world, almost instantaneous results of your activities. Any questions there?

CAMILA: No. I mean, thankfully I'm glad that you're in our group. Because you definitely know how to explain it well. Because it's for sure was a little confusing in the classroom. Seeing your example and hearing you reiterate it, it makes sense. Yeah, I think-- and then afterwards, we had three last examples, right? Not necessarily examples but--

SEAN: We have one last section--

CAMILA: And it was like--

SEAN: --is the outcome.

CAMILA: --one last section.

SEAN: Yeah, outcomes. And outcomes can be broken down into short term, intermediate, and long term results. But really, it's the outcomes are the more lofty pursuits. So for instance, outcomes could be for your Meals on Wheels Program, it could be the results, or the outcomes are a reduction in elderly hunger.

It could be for your fatherhood program reduce child neglect. These are the more lofty pursuits. So for instance, in my eloping example, short term we have fun, the marriage is officiated. Long term we have a happy marriage and memories. So there is definitely-- the results are short, intermediate, or long. But it's the more-- it's why you're doing what you're doing.

The outputs are tangible and the outcomes are, while tangible, are definitely more of the what you're pursuing. Lowering elderly hunger, stopping child neglect, having a happy marriage in my case, right? These are the long term outcomes that we're looking for. And that really completes the logic model. Do you have any questions about logic models in general?

CAMILA: I think you did a pretty good job explaining it again. Honestly looking forward to that final exam now. I mean, I'll know at least one question on that exam.

SEAN: There you go, well, it was my pleasure. It's been a fun semester and I'm definitely looking forward to being done. I graduate at the end of the semester, so I'll be finally done with school.

CAMILA: Oh wow, that's crazy. That means you don't-- I guess in a sense, you may or may not be able to walk.

SEAN: Oh, yeah, no, they definitely have canceled commencement. I'm not walking. Which is disappointing, but it's the journey I suppose that matters the most and not the destination.

CAMILA: Exactly. Yeah, it's the merit to mean hefty years of hard work--

SEAN: That's it.

CAMILA: --finally paying off. Congratulations on that and honestly hope to hear more about your wedding if it comes through and the way you guys are hoping

SEAN: Oh, thanks.

CAMILA: Hopefully.

SEAN: All right. Well, have a great day. And thank you everybody for listening to our podcast today. It's Elevate, Evaluate. Thanks again for listening, go ahead and subscribe.

CAMILA: Thank you so much, guys.

SEAN: Rate us five stars and all the other stuff. Have a great day.

CAMILA: All right-y, thank you so much.

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