The project development process is carried out following the logic modeling approach. The logical approach is to identify the project objectives and determine how they can be achieved. It also involves identifying resources, activities, outcomes (different levels of intervention logic), and discovering the causal link between them.
The logical modeling approach identifies the indicators, sources of verification, as well as the prerequisites/risks and necessary prerequisites for project implementation. Through it, the project fits within the broader scope of objectives of regional/sectoral development programs.
The logical approach is used in all phases of the project cycle
The logical approach is used not only in the identification and preparation of the project but also in all phases of the project cycle - ex-ante evaluation, implementation, and performance evaluation.
The project's logical model is the basis for the development of many tools, such as schedules of activities and resources, detailed budget, allocation of responsibilities, monitoring, control, and ex-post evaluation systems. The logic modeling approach is applied to integrated project cycle management.
Logical project formulation is summarized in a matrix
The main results of the logical project formulation process are summarized in a matrix - logical framework, which shows the most critical aspects of the project in a logical format. The logical framework is an analysis method that presents the logic of the intervention, the indicators, the sources of verification, and the prerequisites.
The first column gives the main characteristics of the project.
The second column provides indicators for the presentation of these characteristics.
The third column indicates the sources from which information is obtained to verify these indicators.
The last column presents the conditions (prerequisites) for project implementation, as well as the obstacles, the type of risks.
Presenting the analysis results
The logical framework method involves presenting the analysis results in a way that allows the project objectives to be defined systematically and logically. This presentation should reflect the linkages between the different levels of objectives, indicate how the objectives should be verified, and determine what factors beyond the control of the project can influence its successful implementation.
A logical framework is a way of presenting the essence of the project, its elements, and the interrelations between them in a deep and understandable format.
The Project Logic Framework is a dynamic tool
The Project Logic Framework is a dynamic tool for improving project planning and delivery. It must be the result of an in-depth analysis and joint planning process, which is subject to reassessment and review of the changing circumstances surrounding its implementation.
The matrix summarizes the following information:
- Why this process is performed (intervention logic);
- What the project is expected to achieve (intervention logic and indicators);
- How the project will achieve this (activities, resources);
- Which external factors are critical to its success (prerequisites);
- Where to find the information needed to evaluate the success of the project (sources of verification);
- What resources are needed (resources);
- What preconditions must be met before the project starts (preconditions)?
Vertical and horizontal logic
The matrix has a vertical and horizontal logic. Vertical logic expresses the logic of project intervention. It outlines the basic strategy on which the project will be implemented. The logic of the intervention is related to the causal relationships between goals, results, activities, and resources.
Horizontal logic is related to measuring the effect of project implementation and the resources used. It requires that for each project hierarchy, the indicators, the sources of information for verifying the indicators, the assumptions underlying the logical link to the higher hierarchical level, and the risks that may influence that link are identified.
The project is based on the existing logical connections between its main elements
The structure of the project is based on the existing logical connections between its main elements: goals, results, activities, resources. The logical modeling approach considers the relationships between project elements as means-to-object relationships. In it, achieving the goals is the main criterion in formulating the elements.
There is a logical link between the allocation decisions and the objectives. The construction of the intervention logic follows the chronological execution of the project. Projects are implemented through the use of various resources. Expenditure leads to end products that show progress in project implementation.
The results are the immediate effects on the direct beneficiaries of the funded actions. These results can be presented through their effects on the achievement of the overall project objectives.
The Logic framework can be a simple table
A simple table can represent logical links between the main elements of the project. The topics for the matrix described above are completed in a table, and their answers recorded.
Each row in the table can represent a means of achieving the next row in the table (goal). Through a logical approach, the focus on formulation shifts from resources and results to goals. It should be borne in mind that only resources, activities, and results can be managed within the project.
The goal of the project will be achieved at its completion, and the overall goals will be achieved in a while. Moving up the hierarchy reduces the extent to which processes are under the control of project management. This is due to the increasing influence of the environment in which it operates.
The goal is the desired future state that the project is expected to achieve or to contribute to. The formulation of the purpose of the project is a basic element in its logical structure. The primary source of goals is problems. Any problem can be expressed as a goal. The central problem (problem focus) is transformed into the goal of the project. The objective describes what the project is aiming for and, in a generalized sense, refers to the results, the purpose of the project, and the overall objectives.
The overall objectives of the project
The three levels of project objectives are output, project objective, and overall objectives.
The overall objectives of the project explain its relevance to society in the form of sustainable benefits to the final beneficiaries and wider benefits to other groups. The overall objectives are defined in the context of the regional/sectoral program as well as the strategic objectives at the national level.
Overall goals are expressed and measured as impacts beyond the immediate long-term effects on project users. The common goals are achieved for a long time after the completion of the project and cannot be achieved independently through its implementation. The project is expected to make a significant contribution to the achievement of the common goals, but other projects are also required.
The purpose of the project
The purpose of the project sets out the changes that are expected to be achieved after its completion. The objective addresses the main problem and is defined in the form of sustainable benefits for the target groups.
The purpose of the project is expressed and measured as a result (immediate effect), final product, and condition. The goal is the most important formulation of the nature and necessity of the project. The project has only one purpose. Having multiple project goals can complicate it too much and cause problems with managing it.
The objectives of the project have several characteristics: clearly and accurately indicate the change and reflect the situation after its implementation; quantify the magnitude of the change; they are measurable in terms of the degree of change achieved; determine it at a time and place.
The results of the project
The results are the direct products of the activities undertaken, obtained through a transformation of the project resources. Results are a prerequisite for achieving the goals. They can be used continuously and repeatedly after the project is completed. The use of the outputs in their intended purpose leads to the achievement of the project objective and in particular, to the achievement of sustainable benefits for the target groups.
The results are slightly dependent on external factors, and their achievement is under the control of the project management team.
The results have the following characteristics: they are determined by quantity, quality, time, and place. They are related to the purpose of the project. They are feasible with the resources available.
Activities are a means of achieving the goals. They describe the actions that must be taken to obtain the appropriate results. The activities are carried out using the resources of the project, and their consequence is the results of the project. In essence, the activities attack the causes of the focus problem (the key problem), i.e., the root of the tree.
Based on the problem tree, a set of actions to solve them is displayed as a mirror image. The main activities are described, which summarize what will be done under the project.
The activities have the following characteristics: they are defined in terms of volume, time, and place; they are expressed as actions that are taken; those responsible for each activity are clearly identified.
Resources are the people, time, infrastructure, equipment, technology, technology, materials, information, etc. needed to carry out the planned activities and to realize the project results.
By type, resources are human, tangible, and intangible. The project uses certain resources that it transforms into results through activities.
Without resources, activities cannot be carried out. Resources should be defined not only in quantity but also in quality - for example, technical specifications for equipment. The characteristics of the resources include type (quality characteristic), quantity, purpose, and value.
Indicators are standards and criteria by which states or changes have been measured. They are specific, objectively verifiable indicators of the state and change generated by the project.
The indicators are measures of the progress of the project. They describe the results, the purpose of the project, and the overall objectives in measurable terms: quantity, quality, target group, time, place. The definition of indicators serves to check the validity of the project objectives and forms the basis of the project monitoring and evaluation system.
It is necessary to use a set of indicators that are identified during the identification phase so that data can be collected on them.
The resource indicators
The resource indicators (tangible, intangible, and human) relate to the allocated budget and activities. Resource financial indicators are used to monitor the progress of implementation.
Outcome indicators relate to the immediate effects generated by the project. They provide information on changes that affect the behavior, capacity, or performance of direct beneficiaries. These indicators can be physical or financial.
Impact indicators relate to the consequences of the project beyond the immediate effects on its direct beneficiaries. Two concepts of impacts can be defined - specific and general. Specific impacts are those that occur over time but are directly related to the actions taken. The overall impacts are longer-term and affect the wider community.
The definition and selection of indicators largely determine the quality of the project. It is, therefore, necessary to know and take into account the requirements for the system of indicators.
Criteria for selecting indicators
The criteria for selecting indicators are:
- Reflecting directly and accurately the measured phenomenon.
- Objective about what is being measured and what data should be collected.
- Provide reliable information to achieve the objectives.
- Accessible and reliable for quickly receiving timely and up-to-date information.
- Relevant to data collection time and associated costs.
- Sufficient numbers and types are necessary to assess the progress made.
Using indicators is not always easy. The most common problems are:
Difficulties in establishing clear cause and effect relationships between the planned actions and the achieved results in terms of common goals due to the impact of factors outside the project;
Too broadly formulated goals do not allow the precise definition of indicators, which necessitates the mechanical use of an indicator scheme;
Unlike the relatively easy measurement of results, the effects are not always clear and obvious, and this makes it difficult to measure them;
Lack of necessary basic data at important stages of the decision-making process, for example in the formulation of a project;
While financial indicators are in place, physical indicators are more difficult to collect and often not appropriate;
It is important to take into account, as far as possible, the indirect effects that affect the results and impacts.
The sources of verification
The sources of verification (verification, confirmation) indicate where and in what form information can be found to achieve the overall objectives, the purpose of the project, and the results described by the indicators. They are project documents, reports, reports, official statistics, and more sources, providing the necessary information to check the indicators.
During the analysis phase
During the analysis phase, it is found that the project cannot achieve all the objectives stated in the objectives tree. After choosing a strategy based on which the project will be implemented, some goals and external factors remain outside it. They also affect the implementation and long-term sustainability of the project but remain beyond its control.
The prerequisites are external factors that influence (or even determine) the progress and success of the project but are beyond its control. The prerequisites differ from the prerequisites that they must be fulfilled before the start of the project.
The likelihood and significance of external conditions should be calculated when assessing the degree of risk of the project. Some will be crucial to the success of the project, while others will be less important. When assumptions are made, they are expressed in the form of the desired situation, which will make it possible to check and evaluate them.
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