USAID Monitoring & Evaluation Resources
USAID develops resources on monitoring and evaluation topics that are available to its partners in all sectors. This includes guidance, toolkits, templates, checklists, and other useful resources.
Learning Lab is USAID's platform for generating and sharing information, tools, and resources on how development practitioners can work together to integrate learning throughout USAID's Program Cycle. Here, USAID staff and partners jointly create, share, refine, and apply practical approaches to more effectively ground programs in evidence and quickly adapt based on new learning and changing contexts, thereby maximizing development outcomes.
Guidance, Tools, & Resources for Planning, Managing, & Learning from Evaluations
The Evaluation Toolkit curates the latest USAID guidance, tools, and templates for initiating, planning, managing, and learning from evaluations primarily for USAID staff members who are involved in any phase of the evaluation process. It is a resource for USAID staff members and external contractors who participate in or conduct evaluations for USAID.
The Toolkit is organized according to the USAID Program Cycle and the phases of an evaluation:
- Section 1: Evaluation at USAID
- Section 2: Evaluation Throughout the Program Cycle
- Section 3: Planning (from deciding to evaluate to procuring an evaluation)
- Section 4: Managing an Evaluation
- Section 5: Sharing, Reporting, Using, and Learning from an Evaluation
This PMP Toolkit draws upon updated Agency monitoring and evaluation guidance and new processes relating to the USAID Program Cycle. Some topics covered in the toolkit include:
- Finalizing performance indicators, baselines, and targets for the results in the R/CDCS Results Framework (RF) and Project LogFrames
- Defining and identifying data sources for performance and context indicators
- Planning for data collection and identifying data collection methodologies
- Conducting Data Quality Assessments
- Reviewing and analyzing performance data to monitor progress toward achieving results in the R/CDCS and Project LogFrames
- Planning and budgeting for evaluations
- Managing, analyzing, communicating and reporting performance data, and
- Using data to make informed management decisions
This webinar highlights basic definitions of performance monitoring metrics in the context of USAID Policy, Country Strategies, and Annual Performance Plans and Reports. It also covers best practices and key guidelines to setting targets, before introducing some tools to measure these targets. Such tools include forecasting, disaggregating data, and benchmarking.
Synchronizing Monitoring with the Pace of Change in Complexity: A Complexity-Aware Monitoring Principle
Synchronizing monitoring with the pace of change ensures that information is available at the right time to inform adaptive management in dynamic settings. For complex aspects of projects, the trajectory is unknown or uncertain, and the pace may be variable. How do you synchronize to the pace of change when the pace of change is not knowable in advance? This paper provides suggestions for dealing with this conundrum.
The Program Cycle, codified in the Automated Directive Systems (ADS) 201 chapter, is USAID’s operational model for planning, delivering, assessing, and adapting development programming in a given region or country in order to achieve more effective and sustainable results to advance U.S. foreign policy. The Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning (PPL) introduced the Program Cycle in 2011 as a framework to link together the fundamental components of the Agency’s programming:
- Country/Regional Strategic Planning
- Project Design & Implementation
- Activity Design & Implementation
- Monitoring & Evaluation
- Collaboration, Learning & Adapting
The Program Cycle policy was revised in 2016 to fully integrate these components into a more complete and coherent business model. Together with ADS 200, ADS 201 replaces ADS 200-203.
This policy builds on the Agency’s long and innovative history of evaluation and seeks to address the decline in the quantity and quality of evaluation practice within the Agency in the recent past.
This template may be used as the basis for developing an evaluation Statement of Work (SOW), particularly for a performance evaluation. Other associated guidance documents include the How-To Note: Evaluation Statements of Work, the Evaluation SOW Checklist and Review Template. It can also be useful to review the Deciding to Evaluate Flowchart.
The Evaluation Report Checklist and Review Template are tools to assist in developing and reviewing USAID Evaluation reports. The checklist provides a quick guide to understanding the minimal standards for an evaluation report, while the Review Template provides additional criteria for assessing the quality of the draft report during a peer review. A Post Evaluation Action Plan guide is also available.