Friday, October 16, 2009

Why does SC use a Results Framework?

Often, country offices ask me why Save the Children recommends a Results Framework rather than some other type of program/project design tool, such as Logical Framework. Several employees of Save the Children (see attached article on the right titled, “A Results Framework Services Both Program Design & Delivery Science” under the Documents section).
Some of the reasons these authors cite include:
1. The entire program/project logic and “theory of change” can be visually grasped without extensive reading.
2. Different disciples or technical specialists (health, food security, livelihoods, education) can use the same
    basic model.

3. The ability to clarify assumptions as well as state hypotheses.
4. Facilitates in the design programs and projects.
5. Helps in the evaluation designs.
6. Informs action research

The Results Framework has the following components:
Goal- a) States the long-term end status that is to be achieved, b) Usually expensive to measure since it requires large population-based surveys.
Strategic Objective (SO) – a) Is the most ambitious result that programs can reasonably effect and for which implementing agencies are willing to be held accountable.
Intermediate Results (IRs) – These are essential steps toward achieving the SO. Save the Children recommends the use of the following 4 IRs, since SC’s programming is based on behavior change:
   IR-1: Availability & Access (as service must be available as well as spatially and economically accessible)
   IR-2: Quality (services meet technical as well as client perceived standards)
   IR-3: Demand (knowledge, skills, attitudes, or beliefs that hinder or promote service usage)
   IR-4: Enabling Environment (facilitates both the supply and demand side of services)
IR Strategies – specific steps to achieve the Intermediate Results
IR Activities – specific program/project activities related to each IR strategy.

Results Framework (Health Example)

What are some of the limitations of the Results Framework?
1. IR2, Quality, has many dimensions, such as technical (i.e., meeting national or international standards) and perceived (client’s perception of quality services). However, this model combines both types into one box even though these are separate dimensions.
2. The Enabling Environment (IR4) is often highly related to achieving IR3, a change in demand via more informed clientele.
3. The Results Framework, unlike the Logical Framework, omits external environmental factors (apart from those in IR4) that can ease or constrain achieving the results and that are beyond the reach of programmers.
4. Finally, the framework lacks the operational details (such as those found in Logical Frameworks) that managers and some donors need; however, standard detailed implementation and monitoring plans that are based on the framework provide these.

Overall, the Results Framework is a simplistic way to illustrate the relationships between higher level Goals all the way down to activities for small as well as large, complex programs/projects regardless of the sector. But, as the authors conclude, that simplicity has its disadvantages.

1 comment:

  1. need to work on Advocacy based monitoring framework or some guidelines specifically EVERYONE Pakistan