Tools and Resources

The Electronic Logframe Matrix

The LOGFRAME is a standard analytical product of the Logical Framework Approach (LFA), it consists of a matrix with four columns and a number of rows, which summarize selected aspect of an activity design.

Most major donors will likely provide you with a custom logframe template in their own preferred format, which is often not modifiable and presents a rigid framework against which your performance is assessed. In such instances, logframes begin to resemble an accounting rather than a program design tool. If the donor does not provide you with a custom logframe template, then you may use as a starting point, the electronic logframe matrix (ELM), which vastly simplifies the process of generating a logframe; the ELM integrates a standard logframe template.

When preparing a logframe, one of the most challenging columns to complete is Risks/Assumptions. The standard way to check whether your Risks/Assumptions make sense is to start from the Activities in the “Narrative Summary” column and moving to the “Risks/Assumptions” column and following this logic; IF the Activities (in the “Narrative Summary” column) are undertaken AND the Activities (in the “Risks/Assumptions” column) hold true, THEN the Output (in the “Narrative Summary” column) will be produced. The ELM guides you through the process of checking the design logic of your logframe (see screenshot) allowing you to make the necessary adjustments to overcome logic flaws, or unfeasible / unlikely relationships among various levels of your logframe

The electronic logframe matrix (ELM) makes it extremely easy to quickly generate a logframe simply by navigating through each of the four columns (Narrative Summary, Indicators, Means of Verification, Risks / Assumptions), and providing information on Goal, Purpose, Outputs, and Activities of the proposed project. The ELM is also a great training tool with its built-in feature that walks users through the process of checking the design logic and M&E elements of the logframe they generate with the ELM. The ELM is made freely available.

The Standardized Program Structure and Definitions (SPSD)

The SPSD is a complete inventory of broadly agreed-upon definitions for indicators of performance of U.S. foreign assistance programs, that facilitates the comparison and analysis of budget and performance data across countries, regions, and globally. The Standardized Program Structure and Definitions (SPSD) is available in PDF and Excel formats; good luck locating an indicator in either of those! But now, there’s a searchable electronic version, the eSPSD Please note that the eSPSD contains the SPSD deployed for use at State and USAID—March 18, 2013 version; it has not been updated with the latest SPSD approved by F for deployment in conjunction with FY 2017 Budget Formulation.


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