Program Logic, Program Theory, and Unintended Consequences: Understanding Relationships. Implementing Action. (F2)


We all deal with unintended and unexpected outcomes. When this happens we marshal our resources and exercise our skills to fight the fire. This workshop presents a different approach that treats “evaluation surprise” as something that happens for reasons, and shows how understanding those reasons can minimize the difficulties.

To succeed, we must be able to:

  • identify and depict program logic and program theory in a variety of forms and scales;
  • understand relationship between program theory and what we really know (and don’t know) about the programs we are evaluating;
  • know the relationships that exist among program logic, metrics, and methodology;
  • appreciate the systems in which programs are embedded; and
  • apply evaluation tactics along a continuum ranging from outcomes that might be anticipated, to those that are truly impossible to foresee.

The workshop will to provide attendees with conceptual understanding, and specific tools.


Jonathan Morell

Jonathan Morell has published in the American Journal of Evaluation and a book on the evaluation of unexpected consequences. He has also conducted workshops on this topic and on the topic of logic models. His hands-on evaluation work draws on what he has written and taught, while his theory development is based on his practical experience.

Workshop Level



Participants need some experience in specifying evaluation requirements, designing evaluations, or executing evaluation.

Date and time

Sunday, June 15, 2014
9:00 am to 4:30 pm

Alignment with CE Designation Competencies

  • Specifies program theory
  • Frames evaluation questions
  • Defines evaluation methods
  • Draws conclusions and makes recommendations
  • Reports evaluation findings and results