The Department of State and USAID, drawing on technical expertise within both agencies and from within the development and security communities, have jointly developed standard indicators to measure what is being accomplished with foreign assistance. Standard foreign assistance indicators measure outputs that are directly attributable to the U.S. Government's programs, projects, and activities (e.g., training teachers), as well as outcomes and impacts to which the U.S. Government contributes but are not due solely to U.S. Government-funded interventions (e.g., changes in health outcomes due to a combination of interventions by the USG, host country and other donors. While not the sum total of all indicators tracked by individual bureaus, offices, and missions across State and USAID on an ongoing basis, this standard set of indicators allows for the consolidation of certain key results to provide a picture of what is being achieved with foreign assistance resources to Congress and the public.
Performance target and result data are collected against these indicators on an annual basis, and reported to the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources. Indicator data, combined with expert analysis from the field, evaluation information, and strategic policy priority considerations can be used to inform broad-based strategic budget and planning decisions to ensure that foreign assistance resources are focused on moving countries forward and transparently demonstrating the basis upon which allocations are made.
Program Area and Element level Indicators -- The majority of indicators are organized in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Standardized Program Structure (SPS), which is a hierarchy of Objectives, Program Areas, and Elements. Indicators are mainly associated with measuring performance at the Program Area and Element level within each of the five Objectives.
Cross Cutting Indicators -- These indicators measure performance across multiple Program Objectives, Areas or Elements. Cross cutting indicators have been developed to measure performance related to Capacity Building, Gender, Multilateral Contributions, Public/Private Partnerships, and Science, Technology and Innovation/Research.