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This paper focuses on the contradictory relationship between tools, always open to criticism as technocratic and mechanistic, and processes of development. It focuses on the tools often known as Logical Framework Approach (LFA) which are increasingly used as process tools by many different agencies, including those who espouse values of participation and empowerment. We assess the tools from the perspective of their use in public action-based approaches, as a means to improve clarity and focus in multi-actor interventions. No one tool can fulfil the range of tasks required in complex situations and LFA is useful as one of various options. We consider two of its limitations. First, it can be used in many different styles, including as a means to analyse public interest as contested terrain, or as a technocratic tool. Second, the focus on viewing assumptions as immutable can limit the effectiveness of interventions.

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