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Logical Framework and SWOT Analysis

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In today's class, we will learn about one of the research tools which is used in designing,
monitoring and evaluation of development projects.
This research tool is variously known as logical framework analysis, sometimes, it is known
as logical framework approach.
There are various tools within the logical framework approach, which are used for a logical
step by step analysis of the research that we are undergoing.
Now, the logical framework approach or analysis began mostly in the context of international
development projects, primarily being designed for US AID in the 1960s.
However, since the 1960s, there have been various progress in the method of logical
framework approach and analysis.
And it is now being used as a method of project planning and management by various corporates
and also in market analysis, as well as development research methods.
However, the root of a logical framework approach and analysis is in the area of international
development research and development projects.
So, what we will do in today's class is to have a very brief introduction, very simplified
introduction to this tool of the logical framework approach.
I will get into a very general discussion of what are the different formats that are
kept in mind when we are doing a logical framework analysis.
However, these formats can of course be adapted to the research question that we are investigating.
So, let us get down to what are we doing in today's lecture.
So, we will first see what is a logical framework approach.
We will focus on two main stages of using the logical framework approach for project design.
There is a tool referred to as SWOT analysis, which looks at the strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats that are entailed within a problem that we are looking at.
So, sometimes, a SWOT analysis is taken up separately as a research tool altogether.
And oftentimes, it is also used as a method within the logical framework analysis.
So, you would see that, there are development research textbooks or materials that focus
on SWOT analysis as a separate method of research tool.
Whereas, in this class, I have combined the logical framework with SWOT analysis.
Because, often it is made a part, SWOT analysis is made a part of logical framework analysis.
So, we will study what is SWOT analysis and we will end today's lesson with the conventional
approaches to conducting a SWOT analysis.
Now, let us first look at what is a logical framework approach.
Now, as I said, the logical framework approach is variously referred to as sometimes as
approach, sometimes as to analysis.
But the tools that are taken up as a part of a logical framework approach is referred
to as a logical framework matrix, which we will look at in some time.
But one of the things to keep in mind is when we are looking at logical framework analysis
we are essentially trying to have a very logical understanding, a very iterative process of
looking up interlocked concepts within the research question that we have taken up.
And we are trying to build up a problem in the form of problem analysis, very logically
and very methodically.
So, irrespective of whether we are carrying out a project or we are designing a project
or monitoring a project, logical framework approach also helps us to understand our research
questions better.
So, what is a logical framework approach?
It is an instrument for logical analysis and structured thinking in project
planning.
You can look at it as a framework or a battery of questions, which is used uniformly,
provides a structure for dialogue between different stakeholders in a project.
In some time, we will take an example of stakeholder analysis and see how it is done.
It can also be looked at as an instrument to create participation or accountability.
And it is a suitable tool to use for capacity development.
In terms of its uses, they are used to identify problems and needs in a certain sector of
society.
They are used for facilitating, selecting and setting priorities between projects; planning
and implementing development projects effectively; and follow up and evaluating development projects.
So, this, in a nutshell, is how the logical framework analysis is used.
Now, there are various pros and cons of the logical framework approach.
Since this tool is being used in various sectors these days, of course, the sector-specific
problems will also apply even we are looking at the pros and cons of the logical framework approach.
But some of the generic advantages and disadvantages or limitations can be looked up in such a
manner.
Concerning the advantages, it ensures that fundamental questions are asked and weaknesses
are analyzed.
It guides a systematic and logical analysis of the interrelated key elements.
It improves planning by highlighting linkages between project elements and external factors.
Provides a better basis for systematic monitoring and analysis of the effects of projects.
These days, with the complexity of research projects that are being carried out, monitoring
and evaluation of the projects have become a task in itself.
And you would see that these tools, the log matrix, as a part of logical framework analysis
is increasingly being used in the monitoring and evaluation exercises.
This approach also facilitates a common understanding and better communication between stakeholders.
There are standardized procedures for collecting and assessing information.
And this is one of the very key advantages of the logical framework analysis.
There are certain standardized procedures that the log frame matrix forwards that can
be used very objectively by the researchers.
It ensures continuity of approach when original project staff is replaced.
And it facilitates communication between governments and donor agencies.
Most international donor agencies these days, starting from the UN organizations
to various other international development organizations, when they are working with
their local partners in various countries across the world, they ensure that logical
framework analysis is taken up, which brings about a better fostering of a relationship between
the donor agencies and their local partners.
So, this is a very integral part of project design and monitoring and evaluation.
However, there are certain limitations to this approach as well.
One is of course, that there is rigidity in project administration that may arise when
objectives and external factors are overemphasized.
When we emphasize the objectives of the exercise quite a lot in a very structured
manner, that may lead to rigidity in the project.
In the sense that, there is not much scope to change things, that it becomes quite inflexible
and that is one of the limitations of this analysis.
It is also a very general analytical tool.
And the full benefits of utilizing logical framework can be achieved only through systematic
training of all parties involved and methodological follow-up.
So, it is a very labour intensive task of following up with systematic training of all
parties; the stakeholders that we are talking about.
Okay.
So, how do we use the logical framework approach for project design?
Now, there are mainly two phases of using the logical framework approach.
One is the analysis phase and the second is the planning phase.
We will take up this phase in detail.
But let us first look at what is contained in each of these phases.
In the analysis phase, we do a context analysis, a stakeholder analysis, problem analysis,
objective analysis and strategy analysis.
So, if you look at each of these terms very closely, you will see that each of these terms
is focusing on very important components and actors, when we are taking up development
projects.
A context of a project is very important.
And that is something that is taken up in the analysis phase.
The stakeholders: Who are the different actors when we are carrying out a project and how
do we carry out stakeholder analysis, is something which is again the focus.
The problem analysis: What are the problems that the different stakeholders are facing
and what is the larger problem that is coming out of the individual problems that we are
looking at.
So, context analysis gives us an initial overall scanning of the project's context.
And this is where the SWOT analysis is often used for understanding the context.
Because we are looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are inherent
within the research problem that we are studying.
Stakeholder analysis helps us in identifying and characterizing potential major stakeholders
and assessing their capacity.
Problem analysis, also called situation analysis, results in a problem tree kind of a thing.
So, we move from one step to the other and create a problem tree which consists of identifying
the key problems, constraints and opportunities; determining cause and effect relationships
and so on.
Objective analysis is also called the solutions tree, which consists of developing solutions
from the identified problems.
And then, you have strategy analysis which helps us in identifying different strategies
to achieve solutions.
In the planning phase, we develop a log frame matrix, also referred to as a logical framework
matrix.
And here, we are defining the project structure, testing its internal logic and risks, formulating
measurable indicators of success.
So, this bit, when we are formulating the measurable indicators of success, there is
the risk of running into rigidity concerning the designing of the project.
Because it becomes quite inflexible if we are suggesting measurable indicators of success.
But often, in the case of international development projects, it becomes important to identify
and formulate measurable indicators of success, for evaluation studies.
When we are carrying out evaluation studies, measurable indicators of success become of
utmost importance.
And this analysis tells us how to design these measurable indicators of success as well.
In the planning phase, we also have activity scheduling, where we are determining the sequence
and dependency of activities.
We estimate the duration and assign responsibilities.
And there is resource scheduling or budgeting.
We are looking at, from the activity schedule, developing input schedules and a
budget.
So, these are 2 major phases of using the logical framework approach for project design.
So, let us look at some more details of these 2 phases- the analysis phase and the planning
phase.
So, what is showing on your slide now is a stakeholder analysis matrix.
If you remember, in the last slide, we talked about the components of; these are the different
components of the analysis phase, the context analysis, stakeholder analysis.
So, we are beginning with this component, where we are studying the stakeholder analysis
matrix.
So here, the example that I have taken is that of river pollution.
This is an example that we have taken from the European Integration Office, 2011.
The references for this lesson and all the tables are provided at the end of this lesson.
So, I request all the students to go through the details of those references.
Coming back to the stakeholder analysis matrix here.
What you see is in the form of a matrix.
There are rows and columns.
In the first column, you have the basic characteristics; who are the stakeholders and what are the
basic characteristics of the stakeholders.
The second column shows us the problems faced by the stakeholders or how they are affected
by the problems; how the stakeholders are affected by the problems.
The third column shows us what is the interests of the stakeholders concerned.
So, you have all these stakeholders; and what is their interest; and what are the possible
actions that they can carry out to address the problems that they are facing.
And the fourth column talks about the potential or the capacity and motivation to bring about
change, concerning the stakeholders.
So, concerning river pollution, let us say we take the first stakeholder as fishing
families.
So, which means, we are looking at X number of families, maybe we are looking at low income
earners.
We can also look at small-scale family businesses, organized into informal cooperatives.
We can also lookup women actively involved in fish processing and marketing.
So, in a standard stakeholder analysis matrix, the bullet points that you see here empty,
you can add to the stakeholders here.
So, you start with low-income earners.
And then, you can add a small-scale family business for example.
And then, you can keep adding in the bullet points to these concerning the stakeholders
that you want to look at.
The second stakeholder here is, let us say the industry X.
Now, what happens concerning industry X?
Is it a large-scale industrial operation?
Is it a poorly regulated and no unions; influential lobby group; poor environmental record and
so on.
So, this is another stakeholder of the same problem.
So, in river pollution, fishing families are one of the stakeholders.
The industry is one of the stakeholders.
Households are one of the stakeholders.
Households, meaning those who are not fishing families, but they are a part of the ecosystem
of the river pollution that we are talking about here.
And then, of course, there are local governments.
And if there are more stakeholders to a certain problem, we can keep on adding the stakeholders
here to the matrix that we are talking about.
Now, if you look at the column on problems, the next question is about what are
the problems that the stakeholders are facing.
So, with regard to the fishing families, the problems are, pollution is affecting the volume
and quality of a catch, let us say.
Similarly, if we are looking at small-scale family businesses.
Maybe the problem that they are facing is with regard to the health of the family; or
family health is suffering.
With regard to women actively involved in fish processing and marketing, the problems
maybe with regard to the mothers铆 and children铆s health and so on.
So, depending upon the stakeholders that we are taking, what are the problems that the
the corresponding stakeholder is facing is what we need to write down here in the column on
problems.
So, in our example here, low-income earners, pollution affecting volume and quality of
a catch.
So, with regard to industry, some industry X, poorly regulated and no unions, concerns
about costs if environmental regulations are enforced.
So, what if environmental regulations get enforced and the costs of production go
to be very high, so, what is the effect of that on workers let us say.
Households: households discharging waste and wastewater into the river.
So, what are the health risks?
Local governments: You can think of letting us say the problems of coordination, coordination
in the hierarchy.
And the problems that the lack of coordination give rise to; say lack of awareness about
policies among households, due to a lack of coordination in the hierarchy of our local
governments.
The third column talks about interests and possible action.
So, in here, with regard to low income earning fishing families, the problem that they were
facing is, pollution is affecting the volume and quality of the catch.
With regard to interests then; of course, their interest is to maintain and improve
their means of livelihood, because any amount of river water pollution directly affects
their livelihood options.
Therefore, their interest; and therefore, the possible actions that they may want to
cooperate in could be with regard to maintaining and improving their means of livelihood.
Unions: Their interest could be to mobilize political pressure to influence industry behaviour.
Households: Their interest could be to want to dispose of their waste away from the household.
And therefore, depending upon their interest area, in the sense that what is the stakeholders铆
interest in this particular problem they might want to coordinate and therefore contribute
to the solution of this problem.
The potential- capacity and motivation to bring about change.
With regard to the low-income earning fishing families, limited political influence has given
weak organizational structure.
Poorly regulated and no unions, limited current motivation to change.
And households, limited understanding of the health impact of their waste, wastewater
disposal.
So essentially, what we are doing in a stakeholder analysis matrix is to list out who are the
different stakeholders in the problem that we are taking up.
I have taken an example of complementary feeding practices in the earlier classes.
So, let us say, we are trying to understand the problem of nutrition in a certain region
or a certain locality.
And we want to carry out a stakeholder analysis matrix in this case.
So, we may identify the stakeholders first as children themselves; second as the families;
third, the mothers; fourth as the local administration; fifth, within local administration, we can
identify the frontline workers such as the Anganwadi workers, the ASHA workers, and so
on.
So, in stakeholder analysis matrix, we are listing out the stakeholders, what
are the problems that the stakeholders think they are facing, and how they are getting
affected by a larger problem.
So, in the nutrition case, the problem could be that of massive undernutrition or massive
malnutrition in a certain region, and how that is affecting everybody else, how that
is affecting the entire ecosystem of a region.
And so, therefore, the problems, how the stakeholders are getting affected by the problems.
And then the interests; and then the potential or the capacity and motivation to bring about
change.
So, that gives us an initial sense about who are the stakeholders; what are the problems;
what are their interests; and what are those areas where they might want to come together
to coordinate to be able to provide a solution to the problem that we are facing.
Now, the next step is to conduct a problem analysis by creating a problem tree.
In this, we go step by step.
In step 1, we start with identifying major existing problems based upon available information.
We openly brainstorm problems which stakeholders consider to be a priority.
In step 2, we select an individual starter, a focal problem for analysis.
So, in the case of a nutrition project that I am talking about, the individual starter
could be the children themselves.
And the massive undernutrition and malnutrition being faced for the children themselves and
that could be a starter, the focal problem of analysis.
Step 3, we look for related problems to the starter problem; identify substantial and
direct causes and effects of the focal problem.
In Step 4, we begin to construct the problem tree by establishing a hierarchy of cause
and effects the relationship between the problem.
This is step 4.
In Step 5, all other problems are then sorted in the same way.
In Step 6, we connect the problems with cause-effect arrows clearly showing key links.
Step 7, we review the diagram, verify the validity and completeness; and make the necessary
adjustment.
And in step 8, we copy the diagram onto a sheet of paper to keep as a record and distribute
for further comment and information.
So, these are the general steps that need to be carried out for creating a problem tree.
So, in the case of the river water pollution that we just saw, the problem tree may look
something like this.
This is how the problem tree may look like, as far as the river water pollution is concerned.
So, this is also referred to as a problem analysis.
So, the focal starter in our case is river water quality is deteriorating.
We start with the problem, that we want to understand the problem of river water quality
deteriorating.
So, what are the effects?
What are the causes?
And what are the solutions that we can come up?
Who is getting affected?
And what are the solutions that we can come up with?
So, this is the focal point.
And then, what is river water quality deterioration leading to?
One is the riverine ecosystem under serious threat, including declining fish stocks.
And declining fish stocks affects the fishing families very adversely; who are the low-income
earning fishing families, who are one of the important stakeholders that draw livelihood
from river water.
Here, another effect is that high incidence of waterborne diseases and illnesses, particularly
among poor families and under 5 years old children.
Now, when river water quality affects the health of under 5 years old children,
that affects the overall health of the growing economy.
Because, today's children are tomorrow's workforce and therefore, the undernutrition or health
matters of children are looked up very seriously.
So, that affects the larger economy as a whole.
So, the deterioration of the riverine ecosystem then leads to catch and income of fishing
families decline.
Now, this is one part of the story.
The other part of the story is, what led to the river water quality deterioration in the
first place.
The first bit is the effects bit of it.
But, what led to this in the first place?
These are some of the reasons which led to.
These are the causes and these are the effects.
So, in the causes bit, you have high levels of solid waste dumped into the river.
That happened primarily because, polluters are not controlled, population not aware of
the danger of water dumping.
This population not aware of the danger of water dumping, because there is no public
information, education programs available.
Polluters not controlled, because the Environment Protection Agency is ineffective and closely
aligned with industry interests.
Another effect is, most households and factories discharge wastewater directly into the river.
This is because there are inadequate existing legal regulations to prevent direct discharge
of wastewater.
40% of households and 20% of business is not connected to the sewerage network.
Now, inadequate existing legal regulations, because pollution has been a low political priority.
Businesses and households not connected to the sewerage network, because inadequate levels
of capital investment and poor businesses planning within local government.
And, this is also the reason for wastewater treated in plants does not meet environmental
standards.
So, you see here that, we began with one focal problem of studying river water quality deteriorating.
This is one effect that we came up with.
This is a second effect.
This is a livelihood option effect.
And this is a nutrition and health effect that we are studying here.
The causes, we have identified 3 important causes: 1, 2 and 3.
And we have also identified some of the policy issues that might have contributed to these
effects.
So, this is how we come up with a problem analysis or a problem tree.
This is referred to as a problem tree.
And how did we come up with analysis, this problem tree?
We came up with this problem tree because we started with a stakeholder analysis or
the stakeholder matrix in the first place.
And each of these branches, if we may call this problem tree can lead us to decide
which part of the problem are we trying to address through the project that we are trying
to undertake.
So, these are the steps to conduct objective analysis by establishing an objective tree.
Now, from problem tree note here that we first started with stakeholder analysis matrix.
Then we went on to the problem tree, the problem analysis.
Now, from the problem now, after we have identified what are the different problems of the research,
a focal point that we started, from there, now, we then go on to build the objective
tree by conducting an objective analysis.
So, we establish an objective tree.
Now, you will see how we turn the problems into objectives.
So, how do we do that?
We first begin by reformulating all negative situations of the problem analysis into positive
situations.
Then we check the means-ends relationships to ensure the validity and completeness of the
hierarchy.
We work from the bottom upwards to ensure that cause-effect relationships have become
means-ends relationships.
And then, we draw connecting lines to indicate the means-ends relationship.
So, this is how.
Now, you see, a similar kind of a thing we saw in the case of problem analysis.
We created a problem analysis or a problem tree.
And now, we are entering into an objective analysis.
So, in the problem analysis, we started with the focal point, river water quality is deteriorating.
In the objective analysis, we start with the point, river water quality is improved.
So, the objective of our study could be that river water quality needs to be improved.
Because there is a threat to the riverine ecosystem and what does that result in?
It results in a threat to the riverine ecosystem being reduced and fishing stocks increase.
Incidence of waterborne disease is reduced, particularly among poor families and under
5 children.
And this leading to an increase in catch and income of fishing families.
With regard to the effects bit, the quantity of solid waste dumped into the river reduced.
This can happen because of these things.
The number of households and factories discharge wastewater directly into the river reduced.
Waste after treatment in plants meets environmental standards.
This is possible because of the policy changes, polluters are effectively controlled, because
Environmental Protection Agency is effective and responsive to a broad range of stakeholder
interests.
The second bit about the population more aware of the danger of water dumping.
Public information, educational programs are established.
New legal regulations are established effective in preventing direct discharge of wastewater.
So, you see that we reformulate all the negative situations of the problem analysis into positive
situations here.
Then there are steps to analyze strategies or alternative options.
So, we identify differing means-ends ladders as possible alternative options or project
components.
We eliminate objectives which are not desirable or achievable.
We eliminate objectives which are pursued by other projects in the area.
Discuss the implications for affected groups.
Assess the feasibility of different alternatives.
Select one of the alternatives as to the project strategy and introduce additional criteria.
So, this is again an analysis of alternative strategies.
So, what are the different strategies for improving river water quality?
Whether we want to focus only on the legality of it or we want to come into industrial planning
and so on.
So, if you look at the focal point or the river water quality is improved.
Now, the alternative strategies could be: because the quantity of solid waste dumped into
river reduced; because of the Environmental Protection Agency and public information.
So, this is a waste strategy.
Whereas, this is a wastewater strategy.
So, a waste strategy is a strategy of reducing pollution by controlling for Environmental
Protection Agency and public information, educational programs; and wastewater strategy
by giving high political priority to pollution management, improved capital investments and
business planning and so on.
So, the flow of thought, we flowed very logically to the problem that we are studying
here.
We begin with stakeholder analysis matrix; then into problem analysis; then we go into
the objective analysis; and then come up with strategies analysis.
So, this is the analysis phase of the logical framework approach for project design.
Now, let us look at the planning phase.
And the planning phase is where the logical framework matrix or the log frame matrix is
usually used, where we start thinking in terms of the measurable outcomes.
In the first part of the analysis phase, we are trying to understand the problems and
the different strategies that we can take up to address the problems that we have identified.
But in the next stage, we start thinking in terms of what are the measurable outcomes.
And, when we are thinking in terms of measurable outcomes, we obviously will have a certain
set of assumptions as well.
So, let us again first look at what are the components of the logical framework matrix
or the log frame matrix.
There are formats and processes of preparation.
So, one is, we adapt the format to the project needs and requirements.
The results of the stakeholder problem, objectives and strategy analysis are used as materials
and preparatory work.
So, all that we did in the analysis stage can be used as preparatory work.
So, we adapt the format to the project needs and requirements.
In the second stage, a sequence of completion and content.
Here the project description and logic of intervention, top-down; then the assumptions,
bottom-up; followed by the indicators; and then, sources of verification.
The third is completing the draft log frame matrix.
Here, the activity scheduling, resource and cost analysis cannot be detailed until the
the framework of objectives, assumptions and indicators has been considered.
We include indicative activities for each result.
And necessary means and expenses needed for the implementation of these activities.
And finally, then we check the project design.
So, we know who are the target groups, overall objective, purpose, results, activities, the resources used assumptions and indicators.
So, this is how a logical framework matrix looks like.
There are 4 columns. Starting with logic of intervention, objectively verifiable indicators, sources of verification
and assumptions.
So, the sequence is- we begin with overall objective, purpose, results, activities; go
on to the preconditions; then the assumptions; then coming to objectively verifiable indicators; sources of verification and so on; ending with let us say means and costs.We will come to each of these columns in the next slides.
Let us first try to understand the first column; the first column of the logic of intervention.
What are