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Showing posts from October, 2019

The 'Lock' Frame

I recall the first time I had to develop a logframe. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I couldn’t see how the boxes all linked together, I felt that the information it contained was repetitive, I had no idea what my colleagues were talking about when they carried on about ‘assumptions.’ I wanted to cry. I wanted to quit. I was pretty sure this was something I never wanted to have to work on again.
15 years later, I have a far different view of logframes. Once I had understood them – once someone had decoded them for me – I understood their utility. They are a project organizational tool; they are an accountability tool; and they are basically the (over)simplification of projects aiming to address complex issues. However, while I appreciate their utility in some respects, I am also aware of just where they fall short.

Striking a Balance: Payment by Results and Adaptive Management

A few months ago, my colleagues and I invested significant amount of time to design a project that championed local ownership, accountability to beneficiaries and adaptive management. We were explicit about our methodologies and about how the results would be defined by the beneficiaries during the inception phase of the project: our philosophy was that success would be more likely to be achieved if the beneficiaries could decide what success looked like – for them. Beyond the jargon, the proposal was good. Good enough to be approved by the donor and for us to get excited about a project with a truly adaptive management approach. But when it came time to sign the contract, the dreaded ‘payment by results’ phrase magically appeared. Out of nowhere, we were told we needed to have ‘pre-defined results’ before the project could move ahead.