LFA Exercise Guidelines Measurable Means of Important Objectives Indicators Verification Assumptions Quantitative ways Cost-effective Goal Goal of measuring or methods and External factors Wider problem the qualitative ways of sources to necessary to sustain project will help to judging timed quantify or assess objectives in the long resolve achievement of goal indicators run Purpose The immediate Quantitative ways Purpose to Goal Cost-effective impact on the of measuring or External conditions methods and project area or qualitative ways of necessary if achieving sources to target group i.e. the judging timed the project purpose is quantify or assess change or benefit to achievement of to contribute to indicators be achieved by the purpose reaching project goal project Outputs to Purpose Outputs These are Quantitative ways Cost-effective Factors outside the specifically of measuring or methods and project’s control which, deliverable results qualitative ways of sources to if present, could restrict expected from the judging timed quantify or assess progress from outputs project to attain the achievement of indicators to achieving project purpose outputs purpose Activity to Output Activities These are Inputs Factors out of project Financial report the tasks to be done This is a summary control which, if as agreed in grant to produce the of the project present, could restrict agreement outputs budget progress from activities to achieving outputs Constructing a Log Frame Matrix 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. Stage One - Top Down (Objectives) E.g. to increase literacy among Starting at the top, consider the overall young people in the sub-Sahel GOAL of the project. What issue or region. problem is the project trying to address? The goal will be slightly 1 TIP: try developing a problem tree, beyond the reach of the project - what then turn the problems into ultimate objective is the project objectives (this should help to contributing to? This should be a brief determine at which level each statement or summary. objective fits into the hierarchy). What is the actual PURPOSE of the For example "To increase literacy" is 2 project? What final result are you not a SMART objective, whereas trying to achieve? This should be brief "To increase school attendance of 6- and SMART: 14 year olds in (named region) of the Specific sub-Sahel by 200% within 4 years" Measurable or "90% of all 6-14 years olds in Achievable (named region) of the sub-Sahel to Realistic have gained (particular level) of Time-bound literacy skills within 4 years" are SMARTer (assuming they are realistic & achievable E.g. "Five new language teachers What are the particular OUTPUTS recruited and trained by (date)" and needed to achieve your purpose? "Classes running in all schools at There may be several outputs. These times when children are not required 3 should be 'SMART' and it should also to complete family duties by (date)" be clear how the achievement of and "Information sessions for outputs will lead to the fulfilment of families with school-age children the objective. held in each village demonstrating benefits of literacy by (date)" For example, "Hold publicity campaign in (named region) to recruit language teachers by (date)" and "Agree and arrange selection process (& schedule) for teacher What ACTIVITIES are needed to recruitment involving existing achieve these outputs? There may be teaching staff by (date)" and "Hold several for each output, and statements training sessions for new teachers 4 should be brief (and SMART where covering aims, approach, customs, appropriate) with an emphasis on potential problems holding action words. information sessions, record- keeping, expenses, by (date) etc." and "Arrange appropriate accommodation for teachers in each village at least (? weeks) before arrival" etc. What INPUTS are needed to carry out these activities? Again, there may be several for each activity, and it will Budget (i.e. money!) Training space help to run through each individually, Accommodation Support of existing listing required inputs (resources, teaching staff Teaching materials 5 equipment, tools, people). You can Transport to village Project Co- them group inputs and list each once ordinator / Fieldworker (who will be rather than repeatedly. This will involved in all activities, but only include a summary of the project needs to be listed once) etc. budget (which should be attached to the log frame). Stage Two - Work Across (Indicators & Verification) As you work down each step of your objectives, think about how your outputs and activities can be measured. What indicators can be used to measure achievement against? What information will you need, and how can it be gathered? What problems, obstacles, barriers might arise to prevent the project from progressing as planned? How can their impact be minimised? Starting either from the top or the bottom of your hierarchy of objectives, begin to work across the log frame, identifying the INDICATORS for measuring your progress. Indicators need to define 'QQT' 6 Quality - the kind (or nature) of the change Quantity - the scope (extent) of the change i.e. by how much, how many Timing - by when the change should have taken place There are two kinds of indicators you will need to use: which measure the extent e.g. how many children Process to which you have attending school by (specified) indicators achieved your stated time objectives which help to monitor the e.g. how many children pass Impact achievement and the (specified) literacy test at indicators impact of your work (specified) time In addition, indicators can also be: e.g. the number of children Direct attending school e.g. more books borrowed from the school library Indirect (also known as soft or proxy) (suggesting more children reading, therefore wider literacy) If you are confused about indicators - don't panic! Identifying indicators requires practice. Try to find a mentor with more experience. Or move on to look at means of verification - thinking about what information you need, and how to get it, may help to define what the indicator should be. If you come up with a long list of possible indicators try to narrow it down to the essential ones. Next, try and work out your means of verification for each indicator. What information will you need, and how can it be gathered? Who will do this? Is this realistic - will they have the time and resources? Will they need to keep records, or can they get the information from somewhere else? Consider the cost implications and build this into the project budget. What management 7 decisions may have to be made relating to monitoring activities? Don't exclude anecdotal evidence (e.g. views expressed by project beneficiaries, etc) if this is the most appropriate source of information, but remember that donors can be wary of this evidence, and you may later need to demonstrate your claims! Stage Three - Bottom Up (Assumptions) e.g. "sufficient rains to ensure that children are not required to replant What external factors (outside your control) crops and therefore unable could affect the success of your project or to attend school" or prevent work from progressing? These may be "enough teachers with climatic, political, economic, etc. but should be knowledge of local dialect real (possible) risks rather than a list of (if not, may need wider 8 everything that could go wrong, and should recruitment and/or indicate how they might affect the work. additional training)" or "conflict from Reflecting up from the bottom of your log neighbouring region frame, consider how each assumption affects doesn't spread into local the next stage of your project. area so that emergency needs take precedence over education". When you have completed your log frame, go back over it, from bottom to top, to check the 'logic' of it: Will the inputs and activities clearly lead to the outputs and purpose and contribute to the goal? Will your indicators and means of verification effectively measure your progress? 9 Are your assumptions reasonable and avoidable, or are they so much of a risk that your project is unlikely to get off the ground or be completed? Are your project staff committed to the objectives and indicators identified? Are they realistic and achievable? Are there any changes you could make which will make it more workable? When you have checked (and rechecked) your log frame and are satisfied that it is truly SMART, logical, and representative of your project, you can then type (or write) it up onto that A4 sheet - with a nice small font so that it all fits on the page - but is still large enough to read without a magnifying glass! 10 At this point you should ensure that all the relevant stakeholders have had a chance to contribute to (and agree) it, before attaching it to your funding application and stick it on top of your project file, etc. But you haven't finished with it yet... remember that the log frame is a flexible tool for both planning and monitoring your project. As the project progresses and situations change, return to your log frame and revise it accordingly. This way, you will be able to follow through the assumptions again, and systematically identify any necessary changes to your objectives and indicators. Pass on these changes to your donors and other stakeholders, so that everyone can keep up to date with current progress.