A paper based on the Instructor's Resource Kit, Module 1, Managing the Implementation of Development Projects, by Jerry Brown under the direction of John Didier, World Bank Institute, Washington D.C., 1998. Robert Youker may be reached at bobyouker@worldnet.att.net
and John Didier at jdidier@worldbank.org.
Published here April 2003.

Abstract | Introduction | Hierarchy of Objectives | The Why-How Framework
Another Example | Strategic Alternatives | Horizontal Logic | Summary | Conclusions


The hierarchy of objectives is a logical framework for project analysis. It is especially useful as a way of getting advice and feedback from stakeholders including sponsors, beneficiaries, management and other experts. It is an excellent tool for developing a shared understanding of the project, and establishing commitment to it. Ideally, the logical framework should be developed collaboratively with all stakeholders represented in workshop settings, or by similar cooperative means. Project reviewers can use the hierarchy of objectives to evaluate the project to see if inputs are likely to lead to the desired higher-level objectives.

The project manager can use the logic to understand a project's measures of success, especially during implementation, to assess the project's progress. He or she can also use the hierarchy to motivate the project team by focusing on objectives and success rather than suffering misalignment that could affect the project negatively. The logical framework can also be used to understand the assumptions made when planning the project. This is important because the project manager must know if, and when, significant changes occur in the assumptions that require a change in direction. Significant changes in assumptions are much easier to detect if clearly stated in the format suggested.

Post-project evaluation also benefits from having a hierarchy of objectives. The evaluation is much easier when the objectives and measures exist from the beginning, and is obviously much less contentious, than if the post-project evaluators have to develop their own basis for comparison. This is especially true for a lengthy project when the political climate may have changed.

Summary  Summary

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