The logical Framework Document - Details

(Click the icon on the left to return to the logframe diagram)

Introductory concepts

The Logical Framework as a document is deceptively simple. There are 16 cells in a 4 column by 4 row  matrix. To provide the text in the cells of the logframe (sometimes called the project matrix) the project designers are asked to address and answer a number of questions which, on the surface seem self evident. However, articulating the answers to these apparently self evident questions exposes many unstated assumptions and hypotheses. 

The process of examining these unstated beliefs should cause them to be questioned more closely during the design of the project. This examination often reveals that the assumptions and hypotheses are often questionable. If we test these assumptions and hypotheses and return the results of our work to the project design, we should produce a higher quality design.

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In the empty logframe shown below the terms in brackets are alternative terms. The terms used vary between the different "flavors" of the logframe favored by different agencies.

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Narrative Summary

Objectively Verifiable

Indicators - OVIs

Means of Verification


External Factors (Assumptions)

Development Objective



Immediate Objective



Outputs (Results)

















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Column and Row headings - definition of terms

Column Headings

Narrative Summary: This term used to describe the text that "narrates" the objectives.  It could have been given the title "Hierarchy of Objectives", but this might be misleading because the bottom cell in the column is a summary of the activities. 

Objectively Verifiable Indicators (OVIs): These are the measures, direct or indirect that will verify to what extent the objectives have been fulfilled. The term "objectively" implies that if these should be specified in a way that is independent of  possible bias of the observer.

Means of Verification (MOVs): These statements specify source of the information for the measurements or verification specified in the indicators column. For example, will statistics from an external source be used for the verification or will project resources be used to gather the statistics. 

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External Factors (Assumptions): These are important events, conditions, or decisions which are necessarily outside the control of the project, but which must remain favorable for the project objective to be attained. The implication here is the design team have an obligation to consider what might derail their efforts and to plan responsibly to reduce that risk of "derailment".

Row headings

Development Objective: The higher level objective that the project is expected to contribute to. The addition of the word "contribute' implies that this project alone is not expected to achieve the development objective. Other project's immediate objectives are expected to also contribute.

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Immediate Objective: The effect which is expected to be achieved as the result of the project delivering the planned outputs. There is a tendency for this to be expressed in terms of the "change in behavior" of a group, or institution and the project outputs are expected to facilitate this change.

Outputs: These are the "deliverables" the tangible results that the project management team should be able to guarantee delivering. The objective statements should specify the group or organization that will benefit. Outputs are delivered, usually on a certain date or dates.

Activities: These are the activities that have to be undertaken by the project to produce the outputs. The activities take time to perform.

Inputs: These are the resources that the project "consumes" in the course of undertaking the activities. Typically they will be human resources, money, materials, equipment, and time.

The Logic

Vertical Logic: The vertical logic is the reasoning which "connects" the  three levels of objectives in the matrix; the outputs, the purpose, and the goal. For example achievement of all the output level objectives should lead to achieving the purpose.  Each of these links between the objectives is connected by a hypotheses. 

For example at the bottom level - the implementation  hypotheses  the implication is "we believe that in the environment of this project the planned outputs will produce the planned result. At this level, the hypotheses are usually supported by research or experience. The explanation of the hypotheses at the other levels is similar.

Horizontal Logic

The horizontal logic has similar features to the vertical logic. In this case, the links between the levels of objectives are the items in the  External Factors column.

For example, if the project is successful in implementing all of the planned activities, we ask ourselves, what circumstances or decisions (outside the project's control) could prevent the delivery of the project outputs.


The term "deceptively simple" implies that the description given on this web site is not exhaustive and does not explain all the nuances of the Logical Framework project design tool. Proper use of the tool require practice.

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