Can the Logical Framework help to manage change? Perspectives from the field of Security Sector Reform

Daniel Szczepanski and Tom De Herdt
Discussion paper 2019.04

Despite its widespread popularity, the logical framework (LF) has also been the subject of much criticism in development. Much of this critique contends that many development processes are associated with non-linear and dynamic change, while notions of change as implied by the logical framework are based on a predicted set of causal and linear results. This critique is all the more poignant for in the domain of peacebuilding and security sector reform (SSR), where the perceived dissonance between the assumptions inherent in the LF and the complexity and unpredictability of typical SSR environments is all the bigger.  Based on an analysis of the perceptions of SSR practitioners, we find that the logical framework’s ability to pre-determine change is limited, as it is particularly utilized as a communications tool and mainly during a projects’ design stage. Evidence suggests that determining the change process during the stage of project design was often the subject of a dialectic relationship and lengthy discussions between the various stakeholders and that the logical framework was found quite helpful in this phase of the project cycle. Its use as a communications tool, primarily during project design and the complex dialectic process of negotiation during its creation, largely explain why its perceived inability to predict and manage the complexity of change is not experienced as a problematic feature, that would ‘straightjacket’ the change process itself.

Tilting the balance. A real options analysis of Burundian president Nkurunziza's third term candidacy

Danny Cassimon and Stef Vandeginste
Discussion paper 2019.03

The paper analyses what drives incumbent presidents, in this case Burundian President Nkurunziza, to decide to run for a contested third term, and how to explain the timing of this decision. Compared to a conventional cost-benefit analysis, the real options approach used here is better capable of capturing additional components of the decision: uncertainty surrounding benefits and costs, opportunities to temporarily delay the decision and potential opportunity costs associated with waiting. The last-minute nature of President Nkurunziza’s announcement to run at the 2015 elections was mainly due to intra-party dissidence. This initially created uncertainty, compromising the incumbent’s chances of successfully exercising the third term option. While international actors failed to seize the momentum, Nkurunziza successfully managed and reduced the uncertainty before finally announcing his candidacy.

The Missing Link in Hybrid Peacebuilding Localized Peace Trajectories & Endogenous Knowledge

Aura Liliana López López  and Bert Ingelaere
Discussion paper 2019.02

Peacebuilding and its study has taken a local turn (Mac Ginty & Richmond, 2013). This turn was informed by a questioning of the goals and methods of the so-called liberal peace. One of the consequences of this examination of the local in relation to the liberal peace agenda is the growing awareness that there is no such thing as a ‘pure’ local or liberal type of peacemaking. Instead, a growing body of research within governance and development scholarship has embraced the notion of ‘hybridity’ in the post-liberal peace era.

Did conditional cash transfers in the Productive Safety Net Program empower women in Tigray, north-east Ethiopia?

Megos Desalegne Gelagay and Els Lecoutere
Discussion paper 2019.01

Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT), policy instruments for social protection, also have potential to economically empower women. The assessment of the impact of the CCT component in the Productive Safety Net Program in Tigray, Ethiopia, on women’s economic empowerment generates important insights for policy and future CCT programs in similar contexts. Not only does it demonstrate a differential impact on diverse aspects of women’s economic empowerment, it also shows a heterogeneity in the effects in man- and woman-headed households. Women’s access and decision-making power over credit is positively impacted in both types of households, yet, the effect seems larger among woman-headed households, suggesting CCT affect married women differently in this regard. Negative effects are observed as well and call for particular policy attention. Among woman-headed households, CCT reduced women’s decision-making power over agricultural production and asset transfers. If this means women received help in agricultural production and safeguarding their assets as part of the program, this might actually be positive, provided women themselves also appreciate sharing decision-making power. Among man-headed households, there is a negative effect on women’s time available for leisure, which corroborates other findings of increased work burdens due to conditionalities; but here, this only affects married women.