The log frame worksheet is divided into four horizontal rows: Goal, Purpose, Outputs, and Inputs; and four columns: Narrative, Objectively Identifiable Indicators, Means of Verification, and Assumptions (see figure below). The four rows constitute a hierarchy of accomplishment, in which achievements within the categories toward the bottom contribute to achievements within the categories toward the top. The four columns represent descriptions and conditions associated with the project goal, purpose, outputs, and inputs. Each of these categories is discussed below.
The goal is the aim or end toward which the project purpose is directed. A goal may be a condition or a problem to be addressed. An entire program may be directed toward the achievement of the goal. Generally, a goal is not achieved by one project alone, but is the end toward which a variety of projects (and non-project activities) are aimed. The project goal is the end to be achieved, and the project purpose is the means by which to reach that end.
The purpose is the overall objective which the project is designed to achieve. The achievement of the purpose should contribute directly to the achievement of the goal For instance, a project purpose could be to reduce client dependency on drugs and alcohol, while the goal may be to reduce client recidivism.
Project outputs are the specific outcomes to be produced by means of the project inputs. The outputs may be quantitative, such as number of clients in progress; qualitative, such as the development of more effective counseling practices; and attitudinal, such as increased awareness of community agencies with supporting services. Project activities (e.g. the process of counseling) are components of the outputs, though it is the specific end results (number of clients counseled) which are properly termed outputs.
Inputs are the materials and resources available to produce the project outputs. Inputs include personnel, equipment, training, facilities, technical assistance, funds for contracted services, and other items.
An indicator is a sign or index which expresses a level of achievement within each of the four rows (goal, purpose, outputs, and inputs) of the log frame matrix. An indicator, as a measurable unit, facilitates assessments of project performance.
The means of verification are the identified kinds and sources of data needed to support the indicators. This includes documents and organization from which data can be collected, monitoring and reporting systems, and surveys. Activities to operate a reporting system or conduct surveys should be included as project outputs.
The assumptions are the identified significant external factors or conditions which are essential to successful project implementation. The assumptions refer to conditions or constraints over which the project personnel have no control. There are normally different assumptions for each level of the project. For instance, goal assumptions may include conditions of political and community support for the project; input assumptions could include the availability of qualified staff and funding provided on a timely basis.
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