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- USAID Food for Peace Indicators Handbook
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- M&E Plan Monitoring Component
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Its goal is to improve current and future management of outputs, outcomes and impact. Monitoring is a continuous assessment of programmes based on early detailed information on the progress or delay of the ongoing assessed activities. The credibility and objectivity of monitoring and evaluation reports depend very much on the independence of the evaluators.
Tags: Development program planning and management Evaluation Development program and activity evaluation Performance Monitoring. This guide does not provide detailed guidance on conducting evaluations. Published by IFRC in Is this resource helpful? Yes No.
USAID Food for Peace Indicators Handbook
Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. The importance of a strong evidence base of outputs and outcomes from investments in science, technology, and innovation STI cannot be overstated. Lessons for scaling can only be gained through systematic tracking and analysis of specific program and project implementation using science and technology. The U. The policy states evaluation will be integrated into project design, and should be unbiased, relevant, based on the best methods, oriented toward reinforcing local capacity, and transparent.
A key challenge relates to the evaluation culture itself—ensuring the right evaluation approach and the appropriate indicators for the project. The agency leadership has also emphasized expanded data collection and sharing, and thus has, in principle, increased access to a key building block for evaluation.
With an inventory of more than 11, reports, it provides the opportunity for users both inside and outside the agency to draw lessons from a remarkable accumulation of experience. Making the data available as quickly and clearly as possible e. Monitoring and evaluation at USAID have three primary purposes: real-time tracking of progress and problems to ensure rapid midcourse corrections, accountability to stakeholders such as Congress and the public , and learning to improve effectiveness.
The value of monitoring is described below under Adaptive Management and has become increasingly important as the leadership urges the agency to become more agile. Accountability includes ensuring funds are used efficiently, measuring effectiveness, disclosing findings, and using evaluation findings to inform budget decisions.
To the extent possible from current methodologies, evaluation can help the agency to better understand which kinds of investments, including in STI, yield the greatest benefits. Learning encompasses generating and sharing knowledge, and using that knowledge to improve program design. As a learning tool, evaluation can track results and the impacts of programs; lead to understand-.
USAID has a long and extensive history of incorporating monitoring and evaluation in its work. The use of impact evaluations surged in the s, then declined until the last decade when a committed leadership supported better tools.
True impact evaluations remain limited in number on an annual basis. In , USAID self-reported eight impact evaluations, a subset of which were randomized controlled trials. One such evaluation example with striking results was conducted in Central America to examine crime reduction programs. In turn, impact evaluations ground-truth research findings: they test innovative strategies and approaches in a real-world setting before they are scaled up with USAID funding, and in doing so, reveal new areas of research.
Evaluations can also reveal how development is helping or hurting women or other target groups. The Economic Growth, Education, and. Seligson, and Carole J. Agency for International Development. October Environment E3 Bureau provides an example of how the interaction between evaluation and project planning can develop, with an emphasis on gender. It commissioned a review of its evaluations with regard to the integration of gender into all its projects.
The findings included the following:. The role of gender in STI evaluation also provides an example of the challenge in ensuring the entire organization plays a role in implementing a strategic priority.
In a external study of how USAID and other international development organizations are implementing gender as a mainstream issue, the authors found donors performed well in setting out strategies over the last decade, but had accomplished little in incorporating gender into their evaluation cultures. Instead of using impact evaluations, the study noted, the institutions tend to develop qualitative stories.
Progress in evaluating gender aspects of projects was greatest in agriculture, health, finance, and education, whereas the au-. The study points to an opportunity for USAID to take the lead by showing how gender strategies and programs can be rigorously evaluated, especially in some of the STI-based sectors that have been most challenging to other development agencies. Finally, as noted in the external review, unanticipated benefits result from evaluations. A significant number of respondents noted that the mere engagement in using evaluations gave them greater understanding of the purpose and approaches to commissioning them.
The agency cites 1, staff as participating in evaluation training in the last six years, but training cannot alone create an appreciation for the potential value of evaluations, especially among staff whose principal responsibilities are not in evaluation. It is important to recognize the link between the use of completed evaluations and the selection of evaluation tools at the start of projects.
Evaluation needs to be built into project or program design at the time of inception. While a numerical increase is commendable, ensuring that the right kinds of evaluations are deployed and the results utilized is of equal, if not greater, importance in improving an evaluation culture. The review found progress, but it also identified five steps for further improvement: 1 expansion of impact evaluation clinics to enable missions to fill gaps in the appropriate use of randomized controlled trials; 2 expansion of training so program managers gain more in-depth competence in evaluation oversight; 3 expansion of.
USAID is updating its evaluation policy based on the experiences of the last five years and the external review. The sectors that draw on STI are highly amenable to systematic evaluation, although STI was not called out specifically in the policy or the review. The Global Development Lab has assumed a role to advance state-of-the-art evaluation approaches and tools throughout the agency, many of which have particular application to science, technology, and innovation, and partnerships STIP e.
The Lab mirrors other offices within USAID in using a framework with objectives and intermediate indicators to measure progress in its own projects. Evaluation and research are similar in that they try to understand how something works. The risks of applying RCT approaches to poverty-alleviation projects are well-described in an International Initiative for Impact Evaluation 3ie study from Finding 6.
Recent assessments of progress demonstrate the gains, and at the same time, point to remaining gaps where remedies could have significant payoff. Basic or applied research investments may be monitored in aggregate, while innovation investments may need monitoring and evaluation at a project level. The USAID program cycle planning, project design and implementation, and evaluation and monitoring acknowledges that development is rarely linear, and therefore stresses the need to assess and reassess through regular monitoring, evaluation, and learning.
Allowing for flexibility, pace of change and progress, and sharing of knowledge and resources between partners is important. USAID deploys STI in complex environments where politics, culture, and key individuals can facilitate or frustrate a well-designed pro-. It is particularly important to know who can be trusted, and to what degree, and who cannot.
Monitoring can systematically test assumptions in a project and then make adjustments based on the learning. This is common for projects in the complex environments of developing countries. Salafsky, R. Margoluis, and K. Rist, B. Campbell, and P. Frost, Adaptive management: where are we now? Environmental Conservation , , 40 01 , pp.
Given their recent debut, the mechanisms do not have a systematic track record for broader adoption across the missions, but the committee did review evidence of first adoptions of the MERLIN tools in various sectors and missions. Improved data collection and analysis will strengthen the evaluation process, whatever the methodology and sector. Evaluation can ensure that the impact of innovations is documented more rapidly and corrective actions are taken in real time by project managers to move toward greater program success and resource allocation decisions.
Establishing advanced evaluation systems can develop local capacity to collect appropriate evidence and use this to make evidence-based decisions about development. Impact evaluations can broaden the suite of questions asked about STI projects and the extent of follow-on gains, if. Innovation in evaluation approaches can spur more rapid program adjustments throughout the program cycle with the intention of improving development outcomes.
First is the tension between the need to evaluate short-term results versus the reality that many aspects of development do not lend themselves to such time horizons. The political climate in Washington creates an incentive to demonstrate rapid progress made with taxpayer funds that are expended. Many projects are therefore set up with short time frames, with the implicit message that support will cease in the absence of results to show for the investment.
This is a particular problem in evaluating innovation where the desired outcomes typically occur well into the future. This is why the default position is to measure outputs, not outcomes. The agency could usefully make a case for the evaluation of such programs and projects over an appropriate time frame to capture full results.
Moreover, each organization has its own particularistic approach to monitoring and evaluation of innovation. The second challenge that adaptive management and real-time monitoring can help address is the difficulty in implementing midcourse corrections.
Although encouraging change is important, in reality, it can be disruptive to make changes in midcourse, especially where projects are developed by partnerships. This can result in unwillingness to make changes. Third is the need to build into a project the time and money for evaluations from the start. Of primary importance, baseline data needs to be collected at the start of a project. If implementing partners are either expected to conduct or commission evaluations, the resources to carry out those responsibilities are a precondition for a project, not an afterthought.
A Request for Proposals, and the subsequent award, can stipulate what is required. Fourth is the challenge to translate evaluations into evidence-based decision making. This raises the issue of feedback loops. What is USAID doing now and what should it do to ensure that the results of evaluations are translated into future policy choices and program designs? It has embraced the principle of feedback loops to capture lessons from evaluations for future projects and to play a role in midcourse corrections for projects.
The judicious application of best practices implies selection of the appropriate evaluation approach, not necessarily the most sophisticated. Over-evaluations waste time, money, and resources. Small grants may not need an individual evaluation—perhaps, instead, an aggregated program merits the cost and time.
Innovation investments may need due diligence at a project level. Recommendation 6. USAID needs to ensure compliance with its policies on collecting relevant baseline data, and that midcourse reviews are fully utilized to enable managers to adapt or pivot in order to achieve success. The focus by USAID on science, technology, and innovation is critical to improve development outcomes.
At the core of this progress is the engagement of science institutions and other innovative enterprises and their commitment to work in partnership with USAID to research, test, and scale solutions. The Role of Science, Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships in the Future of USAID provides an assessment and advice on the current and future role for science, technology, and innovation in assistance programs at USAID and on the role of partnerships in the public and private sectors to expand impact.
This report examines challenges and opportunities for USAID in expanding the utilization of science, technology, and innovation in development assistance; assesses how USAID has deployed science, technology, and innovation; and recommends priority areas for improvement going forward in partnership with others.
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Feed the Future Indicator Handbook. The Feed the Future Indicator Handbook pdf, 6 mb is a working document describing the indicators selected for monitoring and evaluation of the U. View the summary chart of Feed the Future indicators for more information. Check out our latest newsletter. Tags resource Results.
While sections are still under construction, materials included are current with the most up to date version of ADS Keep checking this site for updates. It can be accessed from this website as a PDF. This note provides a clear introduction to complexity and the way it can affect project performance as well as the choice of performance measures. World Trade Indicators World Bank.
Two sections of this MEL Handbook will likely be as useful for teams designing trade project MEL plans as they will be for project designers focusing on the status of a country's business enabling environment. See in particular Section 3 on baseline data collection, including from enterprises and Annex 1 with it's eleven case studies that demonstrate the impact of well-conceived and topically customized MEL plans. Development of the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan is an essential step to manage the process of assessing and reporting progress towards achieving project outputs and outcomes, and to identify what evaluation questions will be addressed through evaluation. Functionally it is a separable document that provides guidance to USAID staff over the life of a project. This section of the kit is designed to help you develop a project MEL plan. It is divided into four segments, as listed in the menu below. You can go through this section sequentially, by using the forward arrow at the bottom of each page, or you can jump directly to topics on the list below.
M&E Plan Monitoring Component
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Session 4: Developing an M&E Logic Framework. able to guide organizations to strengthen planning and to implement the four M&E stages and should be familiar systems assessment tool (katcompany.org).
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