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Logical Framework Approach

Aim of the method/approach
To plan and manage development projects

When to use it?
The logical framework or logframe is best used at an early stage of a programme or project for design purposes. It is difficult to use a logframe to review and/or restructure ongoing activities, especially when the programmes or projects were not designed using logframe principles and practices.

Description

The Logframe Approach
The Logical Framework Approach (a component of this approach is the logframe) was developed in 1969 for the United States Agency for International Development. The creator of the Logical Framework Approach was Leon J. Rosenberg, as a principal of Fry Consultants, based on worldwide study performed by Rosenberg, Hanley, and Posner.

The start of the approach is a structured analysis of the current situation:

The results of these analyses should feed into the selection of a suitable implementation strategy. The discussion needs to focus on the potential merits, difficulties and risks of possible interventions. It may be useful to draw up a list of assessment criteria to score different strategies. Examples of such criteria are:

  • (Level of) benefits, equity and participation for target groups
  • Sustainability of benefits and assets
  • Total and recurrent costs
  • Feasibility: financial/economic and technical
  • Contribution to institutional strenghtening and capacity building
  • Impact on the environment
  • Compatibility with sector or programme priorities

Source: Australian Aid (2005)

The results of the analysis can be presented and further analysed by developing a Logframe matrix. 

Logframe
Logframe is a tool for the planning and management of development projects. Structured like a table, a logframe is a widely used model for presenting key information about a project in a clear and systematic way – the way in which it is set out helps you to focus the project to achieve its goal.

The core of the logframe is the "temporal logic model" that runs through the matrix. This takes the form of a series of connected propositions:

  • If these Activities are implemented, and these Assumptions hold, then these Outputs will be delivered
  • If these Outputs are delivered, and these Assumptions hold, then this Purpose will be achieved.
  • If this Purpose is achieved, and these Assumptions hold, then this Goal will be achieved.

These are viewed as a hierarchy of hypotheses, with the project/programme manager sharing responsibility with higher management for the validity of hypotheses beyond the output level. The "Assumptions" column is of great importance in clarifying the extent to which project/programme objectives depend on external factors.

Read more about the logframe on BetterEvaluation ≫

Useful tool: Logframer
Logframer 1.0 is a free project management application for projects based on the logical framework method. Logframer was designed with NGO projects for development and humanitarian assistance in mind, but can also be used for other kinds of projects in other sectors.

The basic idea behind Logframer is to provide aid actors such as NGOs, non-profit organisations, donor agencies and so on with a simple, versatile and free tool that makes designing projects easier (and more fun). Logframer allows you to better integrate all information needed for a well-designed project, and helps you to improve the quality of your project proposals.

The application can be downloaded here: http://www.logframer.eu/content/download  (accessed 21 February)

Sources and further reading