5.3.2 Log frames and work plans

If properly adapted, a logical framework (log frame), developed as a project design and management methodology and used by numerous bilateral and multilateral development agencies in high-income countries (World Bank, n.d.), may help those responsible for implementation to follow progress. A log frame matrix links objectives, goals, purposes and expected outputs through planned activities to ‘objectively verifiable’ or measurable indicators. The aim is to measure progress, while also specifying a means of verifying the indicators (information) and assumptions. An example at the international level is the log frame developed by UNESCO for the implementation of its Teacher Training Initiative for sub-Saharan Africa (UNESCO, 2007 – http://unesdoc.unesco.org/ images/ 0015/ 001539/ 153940e.pdf [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] ).

A work plan to put strategies or programmes into operation constitutes an alternative approach. Ghana’s work plan in support of its education sector plan (Box 2.1) contains several components, grouped under objectives dedicated to teachers or teaching: improving teaching and learning quality; improving management of education service delivery; and teacher supply and deployment. The work plan’s matrix links these objectives to targets (outcomes and outputs); it provides an outline of the strategy, activities, time frames and responsible units/agencies (Government of Ghana, 2012).

Developing either a log frame or a work plan as part of policy implementation can provide clarity of purpose and direction, and help develop collaboration across units, departments and agencies. The limits of either tool should nevertheless be acknowledged: a tendency towards rigidity as defined by the matrix, and hence a lack of flexibility in adapting implementation to changing circumstances and constraints – political, economic/financial and above all human – as well as a difficulty in obtaining meaningful stakeholder inputs to the matrix, whether at the stage of conception, implementation or monitoring/evaluation. Log frames and work plans remain tools for internal use, helpful for those involved in policy/plan design and implementation, provided they have the knowledge and training to use the tools effectively.

5.3.3 Guidelines and other instruments