Planning tools

This page presents planning and monitoring tools that are alternatives to ‘logframes’. They all provide structured ways of analysing behaviours and relationships and identifying ‘who has to do what’ to achieve goals. There are significant overlaps between them. This is not a comprehensive list. The tools would need to be complemented with detailed implementation plans.

Theory of change

Keystone has developed a guide and interactive template for developing a theory of change. The method involves:

  • Working with collaborators to identify a vision of success – what the desired social changes would look like.
  • Identifying who has to do what to achieve and sustain those changes, including all relevant actors. This is expressed as a ‘system map’.
  • Analysing each actors’ contribution, by identifying the preconditions needed to achieve them.

Outcome mapping

Outcome mapping was developed by IDRC. It focuses on a development programme’s contribution to a wider system of social changes and involves identifying:

  • ‘Boundary partners’ – the people and organisations a programme will interact with directly.
  • Outcomes – defined as changes in the behaviours and actions of boundary partners.
  • Progress markers – graduated indicators that show how much the outcomes are happening.

Outcomes and progress markers are usually identified in dialogue with boundary partners. Monitoring is expected to contribute to on-going learning and improvement

Social framework

The Social Framework was developed by Rick Davies. It is an adaptation of the logical framework “designed as if people and their relationships mattered”. Instead of the rows in a matrix describing a sequence of events through time, they describe a chain of actors forming a pathway through a wider network of other actors.

Changes in each actors’ behaviours and relationships are identified that are necessary for achieving the project’s goals. Alongside them, objectively verifiable indicators and means of verification are identified for each change in behaviour. The associated assumptions focus on “what other relationships will also be important”. These can be visualised using network diagrams.

Participatory Impact Pathway Analysis

Participatory Impact Pathway Analysis was developed at CIAT. It begins with a participatory workshop where stakeholders develop ‘impact pathways’. This involves analysing problems and solutions using network maps, to identify the role of different stakeholders.

These are presented as an “outcomes logic model”, identifying which actors are expected to make which specific changes, how the changes will come about, along with targets and means of verification.

In addition, an “impact logic model” can be developed that shows how changes in the outcomes are expected to change the livelihoods of ultimate beneficiaries.

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