Over the years PSA has been extensively involved in the management of large scale projects in education and small business development. In the context of these projects is has been incumbent on PSA to develop frameworks to support monitoring and evaluation processes which have generally been undertaken by independent third parties.
With effect from 2021, PSA is embarking on providing M&E services in projects and programmes where the organisation is not involved in the execution of such projects. To that end we have joined the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA) https://www.samea.org.za/about-us
Our standard approach to evaluation is built around the Logical Framework (‘Logframe’) and we have found that having a robust project management approach, which incorporates globally accepted best practices captured in standards and methodologies, greatly supports that model.
This 10-Step Project Management approach is indicated in our Methodology section (provide link).
PSA runs a cloud enabled, segregated data base which ensures client data confidentiality and stores project related data, making for easy reporting customised to client requirements.
The Logframe is a planning tool consisting of a matrix which provides an overview of a project’s goal, activities and anticipated results. It provides a structure to help specify the components of a project and its activities and for relating them to one another. It also identifies the measures by which the project’s anticipated results will be monitored.
The structure of the Logframe focuses on the Goal/Impact, Outcomes, Outputs and Activities and assesses these in terms of Narrative, Indicators, Means of Verification and Assumptions as shown in the following:
|Narrative||Indicators||Means of verification
What long-term social,
political,economical, health, etc.
changes do you hope will occur
as a result of this initiative?
Changes in knowledge, attitude,
skills, behavior, etc. Can separate
into short-term and long-term.
Direct results of activities. E.g.
distribution of materials, etc.
The strength of the Logframe is that it draws together all key components of a planned activity into a clear set of statements to provide a convenient overview of a project.
Further, it sets up a framework for monitoring and evaluation where planned and actual results can be compared. It also anticipates project implementation and helps plan out development activities.
From our experience the following are critical to get right:
- The formulation of outputs and outcomes
- Selecting performance indicators which measure the right behaviour
- Establishing sources of verification which are readily accessible
- Having assumptions which are within the control of the project
Ultimately it is important to ensure that the Logframe is used with the correct underlying philosophy. It should not be allowed to be applied either rigidly or punitively but should rather be seen as a tool to ensure that services are delivered in the most effective way possible.