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LF Indicators

Performance measures are used to monitor each level of the project results (Project Goal Purpose, Outputs), and to provide a precise definition for each indicator. The Project Goal and Purpose indicators should be consistent with those included in the CDCS. In the Logical Framework, these are known as Objectively Verifiable Indicators.

To the degree that results included in a Logical Framework matrix transition into a project from a CDCS, so too do the CDCS's performance indicators. Transitioning performance indicators into projects along with the results they measure is critically important, as projects are often the means by which USAID collects data on its CDCS performance indicators. As in a CDCS, the indicators included in a Logical Framework will often be a mix of USAID Standard Foreign Assistance Indicators and Custom Indicators selected. When starting to develop indicators for project results for which indicators have not been transitioned from a CDCS, it may be useful to review the USAID's overview on Selecting Performance Indicators.

Indicators in a Logical Framework are more complete than are statements of performance indicators in a CDCS in that targets to be achieved at each Logical Framework level, as well as the baseline status of an indicator are specified. Guidance materials on the preparation of a Logical Framework often recommend that targets included in the indicator column be considered from three perspectives: quantity, quality and time. A fully developed indicator for improved trade performance might read as follows.

Exports of selected products (shoes, medical equipment), of which better than 90% meet industry target export quality standards, increase by 15% over 2011 baselines by the end of USAID FY 2014.

Given the way in which indicators incorporate targets into this column of a Logical Framework, readers might find it useful to review the kit's page on Collecting Baseline Values and Performance Targets when working on this aspect of a Logical Framework.

For trade projects, the E3 Trade Indicators Handbook shown as a featured reading on this page provides candidate indicators for kit users to consider when working on the indicators column of a Logical Framework. Both standard and custom indicator options are included. By way of illustration, several candidate indicators are listed below for projects where the introduction of advance rulings from customs on import duties is an intended project result. The Handbook provides information about how to collect data on each candidate indicator it lists.

  • Number of advance rulings requested, disaggregated by electronic and hard copy submission.
  • Number of advance rulings issued
  • Average time from request to issuance of advance ruling or denial.
  • Percentage of advance rulings (a) issued within promised/published time frame; (b) issued late, (c) denied
  • Percentage of shipments that actually clear customs based on advance rulings

In the table below, results for a sample trade facilitation project are shown on the left. They match the results shown on the previous Narrative Summary page in this section of the kit. On the right are indicators that might have been chosen to measure results on the right. In this sample a mix of standard and custom indicators are presented.


Narrative Summary Indicators


Rapid, sustainable, broad-based economic growth

  • Growth in (real) gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.


Trade performance improved

End of Project Status

  • Foreign trade (X+M) as a percentage of GDP.
  • Export sales of assisted firms increase by 15% over baseline, on average, by the end of the project's fifth year.
  • Domestic and foreign direct investment in non-traditional export production increased by 5% over the project life.


More efficient/cost-effective movement of goods across borders

  • Time to export/import (days) reduced from average 9 for road borders to average of 5 within 3 years.
  • Number of documents required to export/import goods across borders decreased for accredited operators within one year and other shippers within two years.
  • Cost of export/import reduced by 10% or more for operators that make electronic submissions.


1. Customs automation extended to land crossings

2. Trained customs staff at land border crossings increased

3. Expedited clearance operational for accredited economic operators

1. Six land crossings fully automated within one year; remaining 8 automated within 2 years.

2. Number of trained customs officers at land crossings rises from 1-2 in all posts within 1 year.

3.1 Expedited clearance available within 6 months.

3.2 At least 10% of shippers eligible for expedited shipping are using this service within two years of initiation.


1.1 Install computers, scanners, printers, electrical wiring and related equipment in 14 land crossing custom posts.

2.1 Assign 14 trained/experienced additional customs staff assigned to border posts; provided customs staff already working at those posts with training in automated systems and procedures.

3.1 Distribute flyers and initiate local trade radio campaign in border crossing towns to promote accredited operators program.

3.2 Introduce simplified "accredited economic operator" application procedure at land border crossing customs posts.

1. Computers and other equipment installed on schedule and within budget.

2.1 Six new agents assigned in year 1 and 8 in year 2.

2.2 Training provided for existing land border customs staff within 1 year.