Guidance on using the revised Logical Framework (DFID 2009)

Produced by the Value for Money Department, FCPD, February 2009.

>>Full text here<<

“The principal changes to the logframe from the earlier (2008) 4×4 matrix are:
•  The Objectively Verifiable Indicator  (OVI) box has been separated into its
component elements (Indicator, Baseline and Target), and Milestones added.
•  Means of Verification has been separated into ‘Source’.
•  Inputs are now quantified  in terms for funds (expressed in Sterling for DFID
and all partners) and in use of DFID staff time  (expressed as Full-Time
Equivalents (FTEs);
•  A Share box now indicates the financial value of DFID’s Inputs as a
percentage of the whole.
•  Assumptions are shown for Goal and Purpose only;
•  Risks are shown at Output and Activities level only;
•  At the Output level,  the Impact Weighting is now shown in the logframe
together with a Risk Rating for individual Outputs
•  Activities are now shown separately (so do not normally appear in the
logframe sent for approval), although  they can be added to the logframe
template if this is more suitable for your purposes.
•  Renewed emphasis on the use of disaggregated beneficiary data within
indicators, baselines and targets.”

10 thoughts on “Guidance on using the revised Logical Framework (DFID 2009)”

  1. Hello,

    Does anyone know the status of the revised DFID logframe?
    I.e. will they roll it out accross the board from now on? Will existing grant holders have to revise existing logframes?

    Any guidance would be appreciated.

    Thanks a lot,

  2. When I learned project logframes at USAID in the late 1970s, I learned the objective tree at the same time. The narrative column of the LogFrame i.e. the statements of output, purpose and goal were to be derived from the objective tree analysis. The two key criteria in an objective tree are that each objective in the causal chain be necessary and that together the objectives be sufficient to achieve the objective above them. The horizontal logic loses the sufficiency analysis. It lists an output and then shows the linkages to what it MIGHT contribute to achieving. Without analyzing what else is necessary, the horizontal linkage is about an output in search of an impact. This is not the same as an analysis of all the necessary and sufficient factors to achieve an impact.
    AS an evaluator, it has been my experience that most problems I find during an evaluation are some version of insufficiency. It may be that a logical piece is not being addressed or that there isn’t enough of something to make a difference. Objective trees need more prominence in our planning if we want results to be there when the evaluators come looking.

  3. As of July 2009, the revised logframe format is now in place for use for all DFID-funded projects of £1m or more. Below that figure, use of any logframe is discretionary (so, for example, an NGO applying to DFID for funding of less than £1m could use the revised format, a 4×4 format, outcome mapping, or some other kind of performance measurement model). DFID also encourages use of partners’ performance measurement frameworks where they exist and as long as they answer the kind of questions posed by the logframe, so even above £1m, use of a logframe as such might not be needed. Supplementary material, to fill gaps in information in a partner’s performance measurement model compared to the revised logframe, does need to be provided; the onus is on DFID staff to do so where a partner can’t/doesn’t supply it. For current projects, where project staff have not already revised the logframe, the logframe will need to be revised if the next formal review is an Annual Review; where the next formal review is the Project Completion Report, use of the revised logframe isn’t necessary. The revised logframe doesn’t challenge any of the horizontal logic or the points made by Cindy; what it seeks to do is to break the OVI into its constituent parts, set milestones where possible (which also help to establish likely spending patterns), and identify inputs in terms of cash and people. It’s not entirely rigid: time is allowed to establish baselines (and therefore to establish milestones and/or targets), but not too much time. For short life-span projects (such as emergency humanitarian responses) baselines, milestones and targets may not be possible or appropriate; it might not be possible to establish any milestones for a project of up to 15-18 months, but beyond that, DFID would probably look for them. Some partnership projects (especially multilateral ones) might only report back to DFID biennially, so there’s flexibility about the degree to which you might be able to report progress in the first year.

  4. I was very surprised to read on page 13 of the DFID Guidance that ” All projects should have baseline data at all levels before they are approved. In exceptional circumstances, projects may be approved without baseline data at Output level, but only where this is justified in the project documentation, where there is sufficient evidence to support delayed inclusion of baseline data, and where the project makes provisions to obtain baseline data within 6 months of the start date.” How practical will this be? Rarely, in the projects that I have seen, is relevant baseline data readily available. Its absence is often symptomatic of the problems the project is trying to address.

    Later in the same document the question is posed:
    Q: If no baseline data is available, should DFID commission its own survey to collect it?
    A. In all but exceptional circumstances, DFID should not undertake any independent large scale data collection exercises. We should instead work with government and donor partners to support national information systems and increase the availability and quality of data available through these.

    Does this mean there will need to be a project before the project, to develop capacity to produce baseline relevant data? But what about the baseline data requirements for that pre-project? ;-)

    More seriously though…these requirements seem to me to be very unrealistic

  5. As with anything new there are worries and fears about the new DFID logframe. Having designed a large programme with the new logframe format and now facilitated three revisions of existing DFID programmes/projects let me try and allay some fears.

    By using a facilitated workshop process with key stakeholders I have found that a lot of the baseline data required for the new logframe can easily be collected. If not collected directly its often easy after a workshop to identify how the data can be quickly found (and by whom). If this is not possible it can be collected during the all important inception period.

    Likewise the new style indicators are not difficult to use and are actually very helpful in helping clarfying what the programme or project is trying to achieve. Its very important to remember that many DFID programme are now spending huge amounts of money and we need to know what changes the money is actually going to bring about.

    The key point I would like to make is that the participatory workshop process (with what I term Programme and Project “Thinking Tools”) is critical. Please do not let the new style format stop this process. The thinking process is very important.

    The other key point is that we all need to understand both the advantages and disadvantages of logframes – they are only a tool! The important thing is how we use them!! Of course being only a tool they can easily be used alongside other useful tools and process such as MSC.

    Do please come back to me if you want any further infomation

  6. Earlier this week I participated in an ODI-DFID workshop on Monitoring and Evaluating Policy Influencing” in East Kilbride. My presentation was called “A network perspective on monitoring and evaluation … may help us know where to look for evidence”

    When we were discussing the new DFID guidance on baseline data collection, in the context of a NGO project that was being used as a case study, it occured to me that there was one area where baseline data could reasonably be expected to be available before a project was funded.

    The data I had in mind was a network map of the existing stakeholders in a project-to-be. Who they are, and how they are relating to each other. This map could be developed through a stakeholder planning workshop, such as that which preceded the case study project that was under discussion in our meeting.

    Creating this baseline could be the actor-oriented equivalent of a problem tree exercise that is supposed to precede the development of a Logical Framework. A participatory mapping exercise of existing actors and their relationships could easly lead into a problem oriented analysis of the same network, and then on to some visioning of the kinds of changes that were needed in that network.

    In other words, not only would such a baseline network mapping be possible, it could also help improve the design of projects that might be funded.

  7. I am involved, as a logframe specialist, in the design phase of a large security security accountability and police reform project in the congo. As Phillip states, DFID programmes are getting much larger and more complicated. At £60m the SSAPR programme involves five seperate component logframes and is intended as a multi-donor platform, so involves complex stakeholder dynamics. Such state-building programme component logframes need to be ‘nested’ into an overarching programmatic logframe. Our design lessons point to a real need to recalibrate the ‘nesting process’: whilst DFID’s newly revised framework goes along way to improving the potential for tracking and communicating progress unless the meat of each component can be adequately captured in an overarching logframe DFID will be forced to default to bureaucratic rather than network engagement mode. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has also been involved in nesting complex state-building programme component logframes. A presentation of the new ‘weaving approach’ to nesting is avalailable to those interested.


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