Advantages of the Logical Framework
The Logical Framework has the following advantages:
- It brings together in one place a statement of all the key components of a project (this is particularly helpful when there is a change of staff)
- It presents them in a systematic, concise and coherent way, thus clarifying and exposing the logic of how the project is expected to work
- It separates out the various levels in the hierarchy of objectives, helping to ensure that inputs and outputs are not confused with each other or with objectives and that wider ranging objectives are not overlooked
- It clarifies the relationships which underlie judgments about likely efficiency and effectiveness of projects
- It identifies the main factors related to the success of the project
- It provides a basis for monitoring and evaluation by identifying indicators of success, and means of quantification or assessment
- It encourages a multidisciplinary approach to project preparation and supervision.
- The Logical Framework should be concise. It should not normally take up more than two sides of paper.
- The Logical Framework should be treated as a free-standing document and should be comprehensible to those coming to it for the first time. Acronyms should therefore be avoided.
- If beneficiaries are included in the project, they should also take part in the design of the Logical Framework.
- The Logical Framework will provide a basis for subsequent monitoring and evaluation. It must therefore be kept under regular review and amended whenever the project changes course.
Main Matrix of the Logical Framework
(see Summary contents for an illustation of a logical framework)
Narrative Summary (Column 1):
The narrative summary defines the project structure. Care should be taken to distinguish between Project Activities, Inputs, Outputs, Purpose and Goal. See the glossary for a definition of each of these terms. Below are two examples that should help clarify the difference between each:
- First, with a road project the inputs might be the materials, machinery and labour required for the construction; the output is x kilometres of finished road; the purpose could be to enable the products of area A to be exported to area B; and the goal may be to enhance the prospects for economic development in the remote and disadvantaged region C.
- Second, with the staffing of a technical institute the inputs are the personnel; the outputs are a well functioning institute and a flow of well-trained people; the purpose is that x number of people with y skills should find suitable employment after training; the goal is to provide the trained workforce required for the next phase of the development plan.
Verifiable Indicators (Column 2):
The emphasis is on the value, not just the type, of indicators of achievement. Any indicators used should be susceptible to measurement, or qualitative judgement, or both. An example of a quantitative indicator is the volume of output of the new crop; an example of a qualitative judgement is the assessment that the majority of farmers have understood audio-visual materials. There is no point in having indicators that cannot be measured at all, or only at disproportionate cost. Quantification should not however be used just for the sake of it, and in some cases proxy assessments may be more appropriate.
Means of Verification (Column 3):
This column should set out how, and from what sources of information, each of the indicators in the previous column will be quantified or assessed. The availability and reliability of data, and the practicability and cost of collecting them, must be carefully considered both in identifying suitable indicators and in determining the most cost-effective way of measuring them. If some of the data are likely to be unreliable the Logical Framework should say so.
Important Assumptions (Column 4):
This column should record the important assumptions on which the success of the project depends, and the risks that have been considered.
In designing the project it is normal to start with the problem and work down the levels to thinking about the resources. It might however be that the resources identified are either not available or are inappropriate, thus requiring modification of the resources or assumptions at each level accordingly.
Summary Contents of a logical framework
Means of Verification
What are the quantitative ways of measuring, or qualitative ways of judging, whether these broad objectives are being achieved? (estimated time)
What sources of information exists, or can be provided cost-effectively?
(Goal to Supergoal):
What external factors are necessary for sustaining objectives in the long run?
What are the quantitative measures or qualitative evidence by which achievement and distribution of impacts and benefits can be judged (estimated time)
What sources of information exists or can be provided cost-effectively? Does provision for collection need to be made under inputs-outputs?
(Purpose to Goal):
What conditions external to the project are necessary if achievements of the project’s purpose is to contribute to reaching the project goal?
Indicate each of the outputs that are to be produced by the project in order to achieve project purpose
What kind and quantity of outputs, and by when will they be produced? (quantity, quality, time)
What sources of information?
(Output of Purpose):
What are the factors not within the control of the project which, if not present, are liable to restrict progress from outputs to achievements of project purpose?
Indicate each of the activities that must be undertaken in order to accomplish the outputs.
We recommend that VI’s are included against all activities. This is essential for projects reporting and monitoring against the Logical Framework.
What are sources of information?