All You Need to Know About LFA (Log Frame Analysis)Jayshree Ganguli | March 11, 2016
The ‘third party sector’, as it is commonly known, has evolved and found itself a stronger foothold in the society today. Over the years, NPOs have taken over important roles and been instrumental in forming a distinctive sector within civil society. They are engaged in almost all sectors of social life such as relief, rehabilitation, health, education, peace, human rights, environmental issues, etc. With the increase in the number of Non Profits in India, the competition is bound to be intense. Gone are the days when the approach of the NPOs was a relaxed one – in stark contrast to the meticulousness of the business houses.
In the recent past, significant change has been witnessed throughout sectors thanks to India being one of the global players. The stress is on the third party as well- to evolve from the old methods of practice and find newer innovative approaches within the system. One of those constant asks has been to ensure the implementation of a sound monitoring & evaluation approach that will act as a guide to appraise a project at regular intervals. If all the NPOs adopt one such technique, the predicted outcome will be much closer to the final one. If not reflected correctly on paper, the substantial work carried forth by the NPOs impairs them instead of being of benefit. It prevents them from monetizing their effort for future projects, having accurate data pertaining to their previous work or sharing knowledge with other organizations in similar fields.
Implementing a mechanism for M&E will reduce the complexity of a project management cycle. Though many NPOs tailor their own approaches, we can also consider a tool that has been widely and successfully used across countries for years now. ‘Logical Framework Approach’, a tool developed by US Agency of International Development (USAID) in the late 1960s, was designed to improve project planning & the evaluation system and also to address some of the following concerns:
To reduce the vagueness of planning by defining a quantifiable objective to help monitor & evaluate the success of the project
To have a clear definition of what needs to be achieved after the project completion
How can LFA be useful?
It is very crucial that the desired future situation is described in such a way that it helps to evaluate the project at regular intervals to ensure the success rate in relation to its objectives and the target groups.
Therefore, Logical Framework Approach (LFA) can be termed as an aid to critical thinking because it helps produce a blueprint of the project as desired and states clearly the following:
Structured project design: LFA provides a logical sequence, interlinking the individual steps in the design process.
Objectively verifiable indicators: Indicators describe objectives in measurable “empirically observable” terms and provide the basis for performance measurement and project monitoring and evaluation.
Transparency: It clearly states the reason for implementation of a certain project. Moreover, it answers questions like- what is the project expected to achieve and how.
Risks: The LFA provides tools to clearly link causes and effects. It also assesses risk factors that are involved to ensure the success of the project.
Flexibility: LFA can be edited and adapted to the changing conditions in relevance to the project.
What it entails?
Vardaan Log Frame Analysis LFA
Though this is a matrix that helps to systemize a program, it is important to define and describe the program & activities in length before incorporating a logframe. This in turn will help to clearly fill the required rows & columns with higher efficiency. Moreover, one of the important features is that the tool is flexible as per the project needs.
Therefore, logical framework is a way of thinking about development projects that enable us to summarize a project with the key components in a single page thereby establishing a methodical tool for M&E.