Objective: The logical framework provides, in a short and clear form, the most important aims and measures of a strategy or project.
At the time of design, it clarifies what has been agreed. After implementation it provides a base for evaluation. Specifically, it: clarifies the overall goal; specifies the main objectives; identifies the key activities to reach the objectives and clarifies the assumptions and risks.
The time taken to fill the form depends on whether all the background work has been done. For a planning team it might take half to one day, depending on levels of agreement. As a tool for a participative session, allow 2-3 hours to discuss and hopefully agree. It may take longer if issues are contentious.
- To discuss and agree the main measures of a strategy or project
- As a base for designing and implementing a monitoring and evaluation process
The planning team should develop the framework on the basis of objectives developed in a participative manner. The main stakeholders should agree the contents.
- Planning team
- All participating in the planning process and all beneficiaries
The tool forms a standard summary of the key measures of a project. As such it is used by many development agencies as a required part of the process because it gives a clear framework for agreement and a basis for monitoring and evaluation. The preparation and discussion of the tool is important in ensuring there is clarity and agreement.
The logic of the framework on the vertical axis (going down) is that the broad goals identified at the top are progressively refined into objectives and then actions. On the horizontal axis the means of measurement are identified and also the assumptions concerning availability of resources and risks. (see worksheet)
Preparation goes through the following steps:
Step 1: Read the definitions of the different elements in the logical framework and ensure that those involved understand them.
Step 2: The planning team fills in the form helped partly by the outputs of other tools, for example SMART objectives.
Step 3: The completed framework is discussed and agreed with the wider group of participative planning stakeholders to ensure common understanding and agreement.
Step 4: Once agreed the framework forms the basis of agreements, monitoring and evaluation. The identified risks and stated assumptions form the basis of flexibility in implementation.
- The document is clear and concise.
- It focuses attention on the most important elements.
- It is functional as a basis for clarity and agreement
- It forms a clear basis for monitoring and evaluation
- Although apparently simple, it is not easy to do well.
- If the entry point is problem analysis, too much attention may go the problems rather than opportunities.
- In theory flexible (risks and assumptions are explicit) but there may be bureaucratic inflexibility to changes in activities and targets losing flexibility.
Generally accessible documents:
This is a useful practical guide.
Academic documents (access may be limited):
GOPP, SIPU International, Davidson et al. (2011) Toolkit for strategic planning for Governorates and Marakez, Cairo.