The logframe (or ‘logical framework’ or ‘project design matrix’) is a simplified version of your project design. [See: the logframe matrix for this Call for Proposals]. The logframe shows:
In the first column it shows how the project intends to achieve defined outputs which are expected in turn to achieve a desired outcome and contribute to a broader impact (links to Terminology).
Objectively verifiable indicators and sources and means of verification in the second and third column allow the project to be objectively monitored throughout implementation and evaluated subsequently.
In the last column assumptions and preconditions which must hold true for the project to be implemented successfully within the given timeframe are defined (see: Terminology).
It should be the result of a participatory analysis and planning process. For more on this process see: From Idea to Proposal.
A logframe is a valuable management and communication tool, useful in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of a project. To serve its purpose it needs to be monitored at regular intervals throughout project implementation and revised whenever needed.
In the stage of preparing a project proposal it is a useful tool to verify the consistency of your project design by checking both the vertical and horizontal logic underlying the matrix.
It is advisable to fill in the logframe in the below order, following first the vertical and then the horizontal logic.
As different donors today use the logframe in slightly different formats please make sure you use the specific logframe matrix for THIS call for proposals and include all information asked for in the template!
This is the rationale for the project and needs to relate to the objectives of this call for proposals identified in the thematic areas. Your project alone will not be able to solve the issue of migrant rights, migrant capacities, migrant communities and remittances, but it will strive to contribute to the overall goal of fostering the link between migration and development, to have a long-term impact.
Use the infinitive for describing your objective: e.g. “to mitigate the negative impact of migration on family members rights in countries of origin”.
The specific objectives describe the short-term or medium-term outcome of your project activities. They should be realistically achievable by the end of the project or shortly thereafter.
Use the infinitive for describing your specific objective(s): “to provide leisure activities and psychological services to the children of migrants in XY”
The achievement of the results by the end of the project should be necessary for accomplishing the specific objective(s) of the project. Results are the output or short-term outcome of your project.
The results should be numbered 1,2,3 etc., using one line per result.
Be careful that the results describe the accomplishment rather than the activity: formulate the results as if they were already achieved: e.g. “youth centre established”, “increased contact between migrant children”, etc.
Add in brackets which of the partners of your consortium is responsible for which result.
These are the actions needed to accomplish the results and are carried out by the project participants during the lifetime of the project.
Only summarised main activities are required here, e.g. training of employees of youth centre, not the detailed activities leading up to and following the training, e.g. curriculum development, training evaluation
Number the activities according to the results they correspond to (1.1, 1.2, etc.), using one line per activity.
Add in brackets which of the partners of your consortium is carrying out the activity.
Before continuing, check the logic in your matrix: go through the left-most column (the objective levels) using the IF-THEN logic or use the question “how do we want to achieve it?” moving down the hierarchy.
State in general terms the resources you will require to carry out your activities. This is the necessary input to achieve the output through the activities, especially human resources, equipment and facilities.
Your considerations are the basis for your budget: make sure the means listed here match your budget and vice versa!
The sources of information on activity progress include the regular progress reports to the donor required by the guidelines to this call, but are not limited to them. Other examples could be news clippings, meeting reports, etc.
Identify important preconditions (see: Terminology) to your activities. These preconditions are outside your control and only if they are in place can you successfully carry out the planned activities, e.g. that certain laws are in place by the time your project starts.
Identify important assumptions (see: Terminology) regarding your results and specific objective(s). Refer to the risks you identified in the analysis phase and formulate them in a positive way. Only if these assumptions hold true your activities will reach the expected results and your results will contribute to the specific objective(s).
Check again: the objectives levels with the important assumptions should produce the necessary and sufficient conditions for achieving the next level up, so IF (activities) AND (assumptions) THEN (outputs).
Starting with the overall objective, go row by row defining objectively verifiable indicators (OVI) of achievement and related sources and means of verification. This is called the horizontal logic of the matrix.
Indicators are important for monitoring and evaluating the project both internally and externally. Ask yourselves the question "when and how and on what basis will we know when we have achieved what we set out to do?"
Indicators should always include a quantity, quality and time statement. In short, they should be SMART:
S - Specific – relate to the results the project wants to achieve (e.g. trainings for skill development)
M - Measurable – qualitative and/or quantitative statements which should reflect the extent to which the results have been attained (e.g. 20 trainings for 30 students, at least 50% of whom women). Be aware: The quantities you define will have a major influence on your budget!
A - Achievable (realistic) and Acceptable (by all involved partners)
R - Relevant – useful for management information purposes and adequate to the socio-cultural environment.
T - Time-bound – include target dates (e.g. 20 trainings for 30 students, at least 50% of whom women, held by month 6 of the project). These dates should correspond with your work plan!
For some objectives it is more difficult to think about criteria of achievement or you might have several different possibilities. If you have trouble coming up with good indicators picture someone asking you the question at the end of the project: “How do you know that you achieved this result or that you contributed to this objective?”
Be careful not to transpose the activities as indicators of the results.
Define the sources and means of verification. These are sources of information used to verify your accomplishments, i.e. the answer to the same person asking you “And how can I check that what you say is true?”. These are generally recorded details such as publications, statistics, surveys, (project) reports, videos etc. Do not define sources of verification that are too expensive or impossible to get. For our training example, the means of verification – i.e. how can we prove that we achieved the expected result of 20 trainings for 30 students, at least 50% women, by month 6 – could be the training evaluation and project progress reports.
If you get stuck in the process of filling out the logframe do not worry and come back a little later. You might consider brainstorming within your project team to get additional input on assumptions, indicators and sources/means of verification. In the end, it is often useful to ask someone else to check your completed logframe for consistency.
The “logic” behind the logical framework matrix is two-fold:
The vertical logic shows what the project intends to do and clarifies the causal relationships between the activities and the different level objectives. It also specifies Assumptions and Preconditions (see: Terminology) which must hold true for the project to succeed.
So the logic reads IF the activities are carried out as intended (AND the assumptions XY hold true) THEN you should arrive at the expected results. IF you have the expected output (AND your assumptions YZ hold true) THEN you will meet the specific objective of the project and contribute to the overall objective:
The horizontal logic, on the other hand, shows for each level of objectives how you intend to measure if you have met the results and objectives of your project and through which sources or by which means this will be verified.
For the activities you also have to state what sources of information demonstrate project progress:
Many other sources also provide guidance in filling out logframes, among them the EuropeAid Project Cycle Management Guidelines (p71-85), the AusGUIDElines: 1. The Logical Framework Approach, which includes examples of indicators, or BOND Logical Framework Analysis, Guidance Notes No.4.