Logical Framework Approach 101

LFA is of breathtaking simplicity, really!

The Logical Framework Approach …..   has become the standard for planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating development projects and programmes somewhere in the late 1990s. It has indeed a certain logic to it in that activities use inputs to produce outputs, which are expected to contribute to a purpose, which in turn is hypothesized to contribute to some higher goal (see concept map below).

Participation      Jensen (2010, see below) suggests that participation  is key to project identification in LFA, especially in as far as the identification of intervention’s goal and purpose are concerned. The level of participation will vary from one project or funder to another. The goal is the shared vision. The purpose is the envisaged change.

Logical Framework Approach

Monitoring & evaluation     Indicators are used to check whether activities are carried out, inputs are in place, outputs are achieved, and the intended change (i.e. the purpose) is realized. It may even be possible to determine the contribution of the change to the realization of the visionary goal. Depending on the frequency or timing of these checks, they are known as monitoring, evaluation, or review.

Logframe      The Logframe is the logical framework matrix that is used to summarize the LFA results. It is a 4 x 4 table with 4 rows for the 4 objective levels of: (1) goal; (2) purpose; (3) outputs; and (4) activities and inputs (≈ budget). These are written in the first column. The remaining three columns are reserved for accountability, monitoring and evaluation purposes : (a) indicators; (b) sources of verification; and (c) assumptions, problems or preconditions. For a Logframe example, see the reference below.

Terminology      Major donors use different terminologies. Planning literature is full of such differences. So far, I have used DFID terms. The corresponding EU terms are: overall objectives (for goal), specific objectives (for purpose), expected results (for output), and means (for inputs). Elsewhere the term “resources” is used for means and inputs. Other variations are possible, e.g. where outputs are termed goals, purpose objectives, and the goal ideal or mission. Only context can determine which terminology to chose.

Jensen, G. (2010). The logical framework approach. Retrieved from http://www.dochas.ie/Shared/Files/4/BOND_logframe_Guide.pdf.


About Sjon van ’t Hof

Development professional who worked in rural development, tropical agriculture, and irrigation development in Chad, Zambia, Mali, Ghana, Mauritania, Israel, Burkina Faso, Niger, and the Netherlands in capacities ranging from project design and management to information management. Conducted missions to India, China, Kenya, and Bangladesh. Experience in the development and delivery of trainings in irrigation equipment selection, information literacy, Internet searching and database searching. Explores systems thinking in relation to international development, education, and management, with an ever stronger focus on the systems approach of C. West Churchman. Knowledgeable in tropical agriculture, project design and development economics, agricultural mechanization, irrigation, plant pathology, environmental degradation and protection, rural development. Co-authored "Wicked Solutions: a systems approach to complex problems", a book written by Bob Williams and Sjon van 't Hof. It was published in June 2014 and provides a practical way of dealing with wicked problems. Wicked problems are complex, ill-structured, human problem situations. This book will help you design an inquiry and intervention in such messy, wicked situations. It does so by guiding you through the steps and stages of a systemic process that addresses your own wicked problem. For more information, see https://csl4d.wordpress.com/ or http://www.bobwilliams.co.nz/Systems_Resources.html
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