What is Logical Framework in Proposal Writing

The project’s logical frame is the theory of change on which the project is built. Its components are:

2- Outcome

3- Outputs:

       1.3- assumptions and risk
       2.3- mitigation measures

4- Indicators :
They are questions to measure the extent to which each level of the logical frame is achieved during project implementation.

5- Targeted number
Answer the questions that appeared in the form of indicators and are usually written in numbers for quantitative indicators.

6- Means of verification
Documents that we send the donor upon request for the quarterly, semi-annual and annual reports during project implementation and contain answers we obtained for the indicators.

7- Activities :
They are tasks or events required to be accomplished to achieve the output they follow.

(Theory of change) Logical Framework

Implementing Problems tree into a logical framework

The impact :
The impact may occur before the end of the project, but mostly it will not appear and be measured until after the project ends for some years that vary according to the project’s field, budget size and the interventions that will be implemented in the project proposal. It is important to assure than only one impact is written for the project, not more.

Most donors use the logical framework as in the following table:
Impactimpact indicatorsTargeted number Means of verification Assumptions and risks
OutcomeOutcome indicatorsTargeted number Means of verification Assumptions and risks
OutputsOutputs indicators Targeted number Means of verification Assumptions and risks
ActivitiesActivities indicatorsTargeted number Means of verification Assumptions and risks

Logframe model

Outcome :
It is the change that occurs mainly on the affected people by the problem because of the project and not the groups responsible for the problem. So the affected people - if the damage on them is removed- will become beneficiaries of the project only. For them, we implemented the project to address their problem.

Outcome examples:

• 5000 children and women’s psychological status have been improved after receiving psychosocial support in Amant Al-Asemah.
• 2570 people in the targeted villages have access to clean drinking water at a rate of 15 Liters daily per person, as well as safe sanitation and hygiene kits.

Outcome link with the problem:

Problem:  5000 children and women in Amant Al-Asemah need psychosocial support services because of war 

Outcome: more than 5000 children and women’s psychological status have been improved after receiving psychosocial support services in Amant Al-Asemah.


When writing the project proposal, we have to write only one outcome for the project which clearly reflects that the objective of the project has been achieved. I.e. outcome answers the question ( why)

In integrated projects which consist of different sectors, we can write one outcome for every sector. For example, in the health and education project, we write two outcomes one for education and one for health.


Outputs are the products or services that we get directly after the implementation of activities and before any change happens to the beneficiaries. Also, outputs are the impact that mainly happens to the targeted groups/ groups responsible for the problems and not the beneficiaries of the project.

Example 1:

• Activity: Train 24 M/F nurses on integrated child health care. 
 Output: 24 M/F nurses were trained to provide  integrated child health care

Example 2:

Activity: Hire 3 doctors, 3 pharmacists, 3 midwives to work in mobile medical teams.
Activity: Rent 3 cars, one for every mobile medical team.
Activity: Buy medicines and required medical supplies to provide emergency medical services by mobile medical teams
Activity: Coordinate with the local authority and health offices in the targeted districts to identify the locations to provide services
Output: 3 mobile medical teams provide emergency medical services and maternal and child health services in 3 targeted districts.

The components of the projects can be determined by the knowing outputs and their activities. I.e. the project that has 3 outputs will have 3 different components.


Every activity can lead to an output after its completion ( example 1)
A group of activities can lead to one output ( example 2 )
Each output of group of outputs has to lead to a short term effect, which is the outcome.
Every outcome of group of outcomes has to lead to long term effect, which is the impact.
Outputs are the changes that happen to the groups responsible for the problem after implementing the project’s activities.
It is preferable to have 3 outputs in the projects with the budget being less than a million dollars.
The components of the project can be known quickly by knowing the outputs.

Example for outcomes and activities

Solution tree (Theory of change) for (WASH) project


An indicator is a tool used to measure the achievement level of implementing activities as well as outputs and outcomes. It is written as a question in which the phrase (what is) is deleted for the quantitative indicator and (how is) is deleted for the qualitative indicator.

We prefer quantitative indicators as they are clearer to the donor and the implementing agencies in terms of proving whether or not they are achieved.The proposal writer must fully realize that every indicator written in the proposal is a question that will be used by the donor at the end of the project implementation and the implementing agency will have to prove the achievement of these indicators by sending reports that contain the numbers ( the target number for each indicator), These reports are mentioned in the logical frame under the heading “Means of verification”.


Target number

Means of verification

Number of health workers to be trained in integrated management of childhood illness ( IMCI )






Training report and annexes






Percentage of beneficiaries who know complaints and feedback mechanism






The final evaluation of the project

The way to write indicators in the logframe 

Therefore, the indicator contains 3 main parts that can be explained as a question, answer and a document that contain the answer:

1.      1-  Question: is the indicator after deleting the word (what is) and it should not contain the answer.

2.      2-  Answer: is the target number that was specified in the proposal and answers the question exactly.

3.      3-  Document contains the answer: these are the “means of verification ”; these documents can be reports that contain explanation of the beneficiaries’ numbers or the number of things achieved in the project.

In relief projects, all donors prefer to use only quantitative, not qualitative indicators. So the indicators start with the words: ‘number’ or ‘percentage’, which are replaced in writing indicators as follows:



Thus, these words are replaced by these symbols as in the following example:


Target number

Means of verification

     # of health workers to be trained in integrated management of childhood illness ( IMCI )






     Training report and annexes






     %  of beneficiaries who know complaints and feedback mechanism






      The final evaluation of the project

Logframe model with symbols

Indicator’s uses

Indicators are used to measure activities, outputs, outcome and impact. Indicators’ place in the project logframe varies according to the model used by the donor. It is important to know that indicators are not only used to measure activities, but also all logframe levels.

The writer of the proposal has to know that it is better to put indicators that start with number (#) and not percentage (%), because the provision of means of verification for the percentage (%) indicator will require implementing evaluation activity, which is costly and takes longer, includes field visits, interviews and the filling out of questionnaires with a large number of beneficiaries in order to enter and analyze data to know the answer of the percentage (%).

Unfortunately, most donors ask to add percentage indicators to the logframe, as these indicators help to measure the outcome and impact of the project, as well as the quality of the implementation. If the budget is more than one million dollars, the implementation of final evaluation activity for the project will be necessary, which means adding percentage (%) indicators.

Indicators relationship with the logframe

Writing the indicator

We mentioned that indicators are questions that start with (what is) the number and (what is) the percentage?

However, we delete the question word and leave the rest of the question. In the following table, are more examples to transform question into indicator:



    What is the number of individuals that received emergency health services?

    Number of individuals that received emergency health services.

     What is the number of individuals that received food assistance?

    Number of individuals that received food assistance.

    What is the number of health facilities rehabilitated and still working?

    Number of health facilities rehabilitated and still working.

    What is the percentage of beneficiaries’ satisfaction of rehabilitating water and sanitation projects?

    Percentage of beneficiaries’ satisfaction of rehabilitating water and sanitation projects

    What is the number of individuals that received cash and/or in-kind assistance for the purpose of protection?

    Number of individuals that received cash and/or in-kind assistance for the purpose of protection

     What is the number of children that  benefited from distributed educational tools?

    Number of children that benefited from distributed educational tools

The way to write indicators

List of indicators of humanitarian and development sectors

In the following pages, a set of indicators of the humanitarian and development sectors that can be used in the project proposal indicators according to the sector the proposal belongs to. The project writer can select all or some indicators for his proposal from this list.

This list is subjected to increase and update and it is possible to follow up on the latest indicators of different sectors, which are published on the Internet through the site (Indikit): www.indikit.net

( In English indicators )

Means of verification:

Means of verification are the documents we collect over the implementation period up to the last day to prove that all activities were completed, objectives and outputs were achieved and the project outcome has been reached.

The most important activity that is done by the project’s monitoring and evaluation officer is to make a plan to collect the means of verification and their annexes, i.e. the proposal writer should write the names of the documents, which will be sent to the donor or the evaluation companies at the end of the project, in front of each indicator and make sure those documents are easy to prepare.


Means of verification for # indicators

Means of verification for # indicators

    Distribution report with annexes

     These reports will be collected regularly by project staff and the monitoring and evaluation officer, and reviewed by project officers, and program officers then archived automatically after the implementation of every activity. Therefore, these reports will be easy to be provided and delivered to the donor at any time.

    Training report with annexes

    Completion report with annexes

    Project monthly report

    Project Semi- annual report

    Project final report

    Awareness sessions report with annexes

    Complaints and feedback lists

     Means of verification for % indicators      

     Collected by evaluation activities

    Post distribution monitoring (PDM)

     These reports need contracting with a free consultant or consulting company to implement, which will cost money and consume additional time and effort

    Mid-term evaluation report

    Final evaluation report

    Project final survey

      Examples of means of verification for indicators starting with (#) and others starting with (%)

Assumptions and risks and risk mitigation measures

Most donors demand to mention the possible assumptions and risks during the implementation of the project and ask for explanation of how the organization is going to deal with these risks if they occurred, to ensure the project can be implemented and its objectives are achieved in the proposed period of time.

The identification of the assumptions and risks helps in clarifying whether the proposed objectives and activities are realistic and achievable during the time of the project implementation with the proposed human and financial resources; it further ensures that internal and external circumstances surrounding project implementation are suitable and will help in implementing the project.


The assumptions are the external factors we expect to happen and we want them to actually happen, because their occurrence is required so we can implement the activities and successfully achieve objectives and reach outputs and outcomes. Therefore, the assumption is the necessary and desirable situation to happen so that activities can be implemented and goals achieved successfully.


Risks are unrealized assumptions. Therefore, unrealized assumptions become a threat that leads to the termination of the project or implementation difficulties.

 Risk identification tree

The Activities, assumptions, risks and risk mitigation measures process.

Types of risks that may occur:

·      Legal risks: such as lawsuits that are filed by the project’s beneficiaries as a result of non-application of standards that led to excluding the ones who are eligible for the assistance.

Lawsuits can be filed by the residents in the targeted area who are directly affected by the project implementation, like uncompleted water project after a deep well is drilled due to a problem, lack of funding or contractors faults.

·      Regulatory risks: one of specialized government agencies is absent and not involved in planning and coordinating prior to activities implementation. Other risks can be: weak procedures in the announcements and opening of tenders; or not specifying clear procedures that help in implementing activities in the required quality, which leads to inadequate performance that may make it difficult to achieve the desired project results. In addition, the implementation plan or monitoring and evaluation plans were not clear and responsibilities, requirements and time periods were not clearly defined.

·     Technical risks: there may be errors or deficiencies in projects’ design where constructions or rehabilitation is required in health facilities, schools and water projects. Or when inappropriate technology is used, unavailability or shortage of required materials for implementation.

·     •  Location risks: there may be disputes on the ownership of the place or the area that was chosen to implement IDPs or refugee’s camps; or local residents may refuse the existence of these camps or sanitation, which is going to be built near their villages.

·      Financial risks: there may be changes in exchange rates (currency fluctuation) and a decrease in the local currency, which will result in a rise in the required materials such as food baskets, building materials and workers’ wages.

·      Social risks: failing to form community committees or excluding influential people in the targeted community; not involving them and coordinating with them will lead to hindering project implementation, filing complaints and difficulties in handling such complaints.

       • Political and security risks: conflicts of interests may arise between the political components in the region because of the project implementation, or there may be conflicts and security problems that lead to the termination of the project due to the difficulty for the project’s staff to be present in the targeted area; this, in turn, makes it difficult to monitor activities’ implementation and evaluate achieved objectives.

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