Programme Management

Logframe vs Theory of Change: What’s the difference?

There is often confusion around the terms “logframe” and “theory of change”. A logframe is a tool used to plan, monitor and evaluate projects. It is a logical framework which delineates the linkages between a project’s activities, outputs, outcomes and impact. A theory of change, on the other hand, is a conceptual framework that describes how and why a project or intervention is expected to lead to desired results. In other words, it outlines the cause-and-effect relationship between inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impact.

Logframe  Theory of Change
Purpose

plans and tracks the progress of a project

describes how an intervention is expected to lead to desired results
Content Goals, Objectives, Activities, Deliverables description of how a problem or issue is expected to be addressed, resources, partners
Includes assumptions and risks preconditions or enablers
Presentation matrix format diagram or narrative text
Free Downloads Logframe Example
Logframe Template

The Logframe

A logframe is a tool used by project managers to plan and track the progress of a project. It is a way of visualizing the project’s goals, objectives, activities, and deliverables. The logframe can be used to identify risks and issues, and to monitor and evaluate the project’s progress.

The logframe is a tool that can be used to:

  • Plan and track the progress of a project
  • Visualize the project’s goals, objectives, activities, and deliverables
  • Identify risks and issues
  • Monitor and evaluate the project’s progress.

A logframe typically includes the following elements:

  • Goals: what the project is trying to achieve
  • Objectives: specific and measurable targets that will be achieved within a certain timeframe
  • Activities: the actions that need to be taken in order to achieve the objectives
  • Deliverables: the outputs of the project that will be delivered to the client or customer.

The logframe can be used throughout the lifecycle of a project, from initiation to closeout. It is a flexible tool that can be adapted to suit the needs of any project.

When developing a logframe, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • Objectives should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound)
  • Assumptions and risks should be identified
  • Indicators should be chosen to measure progress towards objectives
  • Targets should be set for each indicator

The Theory of Change

A theory of change is a description of how a problem or issue is expected to be addressed. It outlines the steps that need to be taken to bring about change, and identifies the resources and partners required to make it happen. Theories of change are used in many different contexts, from social movements to international development. They can be helpful in planning and evaluation, by providing a shared understanding of what needs to happen in order for change to occur. There is no one right way to develop a theory of change. The process should be tailored to the specific context and goals of the project or initiative.

When developing a theory of change, it is important to consider the following:

  • The desired end result or impact of the project or intervention
  • The intermediate results or outcomes that need to be achieved in order to reach the desired end result
  • The activities or inputs that will lead to the desired intermediate results
  • The preconditions or enablers that need to be in place for the activities to lead to the desired results

Both logframes and theory of change approaches have their merits, and which one to use will depend on the specific project or context. In general, theory of change approaches offer a more holistic view of how change happens, while logframes are more focused on specific activities and outputs. Learn more about the differences here.