The Meaning of the Logical Framework Approach for NGO-officials in Colombia - A phenomenological study of results-based management in development cooperation
Abstract: The quest for effectiveness and results has become a top political priority in the international development sector during the last decade. One of the prevailing tools for effectiveness and goal fulfilment for development projects is the Logical Framework Approach (LFA). Implementing organisations, such as NGOs, are often obliged to use the LFA for planning, implementation and evaluation in order to get funding from international donors. This thesis takes its departure in the critique of the LFA, both concerning its theoretical assumptions and its practice. With a phenomenological approach and through qualitative interviews with 13 NGO-officials working with human rights, peace building and democracy projects in Colombia, this thesis examines the perceptions and experiences of the LFA. The analysis shows a widely shared perception of a discrepancy between the theoretical assumptions of the tool and how development projects work in reality. Two problematic assumptions of the LFA are risk prediction and articulation of measurable and verifiable results. It is also shown that the NGO-officials perceive donors to apply different approaches to the LFA; some donors use the LFA with flexibility and with aim to promote learning while others use it strictly for accountability purposes. Furthermore, it is argued that the LFA could be understood as an instrument, which indirectly control the actions of implementing organisations through technical reasoning.
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