A logical framework or a log frame is a significant step for proper project planning, monitoring, and evaluation. A log frame can find uses not only in monitoring social science projects but also projects with varying other themes and purposes. I had underestimated its importance. But, as part of our planning and implementation course at grad school, my team and I, after weeks of thought, debate, and research, finally created one. NOW I know how critical it is for an effective and efficient project.
We decided to work on Jharkhand's Access to Education and Innovation (JAEI). We created a concept for introducing innovation in education delivery and access in the Indian state of Jharkhand, through Ranchi University. The problems we wanted to address were overcapacity of classrooms, lack of physical access to university structures, and lack of alternative and innovative methods of acquiring degrees in higher learning.
Our first step was to build a problem tree. The problem tree, by function, visually represents different dimensions of the problem. So while planning our project, the problem tree helped us establish indicators, think about various levels and cross-section of stakeholders, and most importantly, anticipate risks. It became the foundation for our log frame as it showed us the intersectionality of the problem.
Below is the problem tree we created for JAEI.
Next, we built a logical framework. A log frame contains all the necessary elements of a project: A goal, a purpose, the activities for the larger goal, the anticipated outputs, indicators, means of verifying these indicators, cost estimates, and assumptions. A useful logical framework has a specific and fixed layout; each element must have a particular numbering system, a verb tense, and language.
Building a log frame is a true testament to our teamwork abilities. It is both frustrating, time-consuming, and filled with endless debate. At the end of it all, we realized that it is a fundamental step for any successful program planning, monitoring, and evaluation, and we were quite happy with the result.
Below is our final logical framework:
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