AusAID: Logical Framework Approach
The Logical Framework Approach (LFA) is a long established activity design methodology used by a range of major multilateral and bilateral donors, including Australia. It is based on a systematic analysis of the development situation, particularly key development problems, and of the options for addressing those problems. It can be applied in a range of circumstances and to a range of types of aid activity. Although mainly used in the past for the well-established forms of AusAID activity, it can also be used for new forms of activity such as program support and macro-policy support.
The LFA is an analytical, presentational and management tool which can help planners and managers
• analyse the existing situation during activity preparation
• establish a logical hierarchy of means by which objectives will be reached
• identify the potential risks to achieving the objectives, and to sustainable outcomes
• establish how outputs and outcomes might best be monitored and evaluated
• if desired, present a summary of the activity in a standard format, and
• monitor and review Activities during implementation.
LFA can be used throughout AusAID's management of aid activities in
• identifying and assessing activity options
• preparing the activity design in a systematic and logical way
• appraising activity designs
• implementing approved Activities, and
• monitoring, reviewing and evaluating activity progress and performance.
LFA is best started early in activity design. (It is more difficult to use the LFA to review and/or restructure ongoing activities which were not designed using LFA principles and practices). As LFA is an ‘aid to thinking’, it has widespread and flexible application. Activity planning and management should always be approached as a team task. This means that adequate opportunity should be given to colleagues and key stakeholders to provide input to the process and product of LFA. This can be supported by
• taking time to explain the principles of LFA and clarifying the terminology used
• integrating effective team work and adult learning methods into meetings with stakeholder groups, and
• ensuring that stakeholder groups are involved in situation and/or problem analysis, particularly in early design.
However, LFA is not a tool that all participants should necessarily be expected to understand or use. While ‘logical’ in concept, its effective application poses many challenges, even to the experienced user.