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Appendix B: Department of State Program Evaluation Plan


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FY 2004-2009 Department of State and USAID Strategic Plan

Consistent and timely program evaluation is critical to making informed decisions based on analysis of how U.S. foreign policy can best be carried out around the globe. In the past 2 years, the Department's focus has been two-pronged: 1) to increase the level and quality of the Department's performance planning at the Bureau and Embassy level; and 2) to institutionalize regular evaluation within the Department culture. In the timeframe of this Strategic Plan, the Department's focus will be to reinforce this planning culture and further develop and evaluate timely, useful, and reliable performance information that assists Department executives to make policy and resource decisions. The Department used evaluation information from the processes identified here in preparing this Strategic Plan.

EVALUATION TOOLS AND METHODS

The Department will continue to use a variety of methods and tools to evaluate its work. The tools and methods offer varying levels of detail based on their intended audience, but each tool or method is critical to ensure the Department evaluates all of its programs and is wisely spending its resources to reach the tenets of this Strategic Plan. The following are the different tools and methods the Department will continue to use:

  • Mission Performance Plans (MPP) and Annual Reviews. Each Mission, in collaboration with other U.S. Government agencies located in the country, develops an annual performance plan that outlines the intended goals, priority initiatives, and performance indicators for the country team. The Assistant Secretary for Resource Management and staff hold detailed annual reviews with approximately 25 percent of Missions each year to evaluate past progress and program execution changes needed in the coming year. These reviews result in detailed messages to posts outlining how the Mission needs to improve its operations.
  • Bureau Performance Plans (BPP) and Senior Reviews. The Department also requires each Bureau to develop an annual performance plan that identifies a specific business plan for success, including budget and human resource requests related to specific goals and priorities. The Bureau of Resource Management evaluates each BPP and provides specific recommendations to improve the Bureau's programs. Ongoing analysis and evaluation of the administration of Foreign Affairs programs, International Organizations, International Commissions, Related Appropriations, and Foreign Assistance appropriations is conducted by RM to ensure that resource allocation decisions are mated with Department priorities and lead to improved performance. In addition to these BPP evaluations, the Deputy Secretary of State holds comprehensive annual reviews with each Assistant Secretary on progress in reaching stated goals and targets and reviews major priorities for the coming budget year in order to make informed resource decisions. Other U.S. Government agencies, including USAID, participate in these Senior Reviews.
  • Internal Bureau Assessments. With a new emphasis on using performance information to make resource decisions, many bureaus within the Department have moved to strengthen their current monitoring and evaluation. Beginning with the FY 2002 Performance and Accountability Report, the Department's program managers applied a self-evaluation rating tool to assist program managers assess performance results. This analytical tool included specific instructions and objective performance assessment parameters to assign a rating for each result. The rating reflected the extent to which a given target was achieved. Rating information at the result level provides a more accurate gauge of program performance for decision-makers. In addition to this self-evaluation, many bureaus hire external consultants to conduct detailed program reviews.
  • Performance Assessment Rating Tool (PART). The Department also uses the methodology and results from the Office of Management and Budget's Performance Assessment Rating Tool (PART). Beginning in FY 2003, the BPPs included information relating to the identified PART programs. The questions PART poses are critical and will be increasingly included in our internal MPP and BPP reviews.
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG) and General Accounting Office (GAO) Evaluations. The OIG and the GAO are two independent bodies that also drive evaluation within the Department. OIG is required by law to inspect and evaluate all Department diplomatic missions and domestic bureaus. Each year, OIG inspects approximately 35 to 50 overseas missions and domestic bureaus. In addition, OIG audits and evaluates some 20 to 30 Department programs and operations, including mandated annual audits of the Department's financial statements, protection of classified information, and implementation of the Federal Information Security Management Act. OIG also conducts reviews of specific programs, grants, and contracts at the request of the Department. These reviews and evaluations provide the Department an objective assessment of program performance and recommend specific actions to be taken in meeting the challenges ahead. A partial list of prior evaluations and major findings can be found in the Department's FY 2002 Performance and Accountability Report. The GAO initiates an average of seven new program reviews involving the Department per month covering a spectrum of issues such as right-sizing, embassy construction, information systems, recruiting, nonproliferation, and trade agreements.
In addition to our current evaluation tools and methods, the Bureau of Resource Management will play the lead role in managing the Department's program evaluations under this Strategic Plan. The Department will work on two additional evaluation tools:

  • Comprehensive Program Identification and Evaluation. The Department will utilize the newly automated MPP and BPP as the primary tools for implementing program evaluations. The MPP and BPP currently require performance indicators and target information at the performance goal level. Working with OMB, the Department will refocus this tool to require Missions and Bureaus to identify major initiatives/programs and relevant performance indicators and annual targets.

The Department is committed to evaluating 100 percent of programs during the timeframe of this Strategic Plan using the tools and methods described above. In addition to the previously described reviews, the following chart highlights additional evaluations. OMB PART programs are listed for the fiscal year first published in the budget.

Preliminary Program Evaluation Schedule

Bureau  / Office

Review

Fiscal Year 2004

         African Affairs (AF)

         Consular Affairs (CA)

         Diplomatic Security (DS)

         Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)

         European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR)

         OMB PART: Security Assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa

         OMB PART: Visa and Consular Services/Border Security

         OMB PART: Anti-terrorism Assistance

         OMB PART: Educational Exchanges in NEA and SA

         OMB PART: Military Assistance to New NATO and NATO Aspirant Nations

         Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO)

         Political-Military Affairs (PM)

         OMB PART: Capital Security Construction

         OMB PART: Peacekeeping Operations (including East Timor and OSCE)

         Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM)

         OMB PART: Refugee Admissions to the U.S.

         OMB PART: Refugees-Resettlement in Israel

         Resource Management (RM)

         Mission Performance Plans/Bureau Performance Plans

         Senior Policy, Performance, and Resource Reviews

         Office of Inspector General (OIG Annual Inspections and Audits)

         Mission and Bureau Inspections

         Selected Program, Grantee, and Contract Audits

         Protection of Classified Information at HST

         Implementation of the Federal Information Security Management Act

         Various Financial Statement Audits

Fiscal Year 2005

  • Counterterrorism (S/CT)
  • Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL)
  • Diplomatic Security (DS)
  • European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR)
  • OMB PART: Terrorist Interdiction Program
  • OMB PART: Human Rights and Democracy Fund, Global Democracy Programs
  • OMB PART: Worldwide Security Upgrades

     OMB PART: Support for East European Democracy

     OMB PART: Assistance for the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union

 

  • International Organizations (IO)
  • Nonproliferation (NP)
  • Political-Military Affairs (PM)
  • Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM)
  • Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA)

     OMB PART: UN Development Program (UNDP)

     OMB PART: Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund

     OMB PART: Demining

     OMB PART: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

  • OMB PART: Economic Support Fund
  • OMB PART: Foreign Military Financing, Int'l Military Education and Training
  • Resource Management (RM)
  • Mission Performance Plans/Bureau Performance Plans
  • Senior Policy, Performance, and Resource Reviews
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG Annual Inspections and Audits)
  • Mission and Bureau Inspections
  • Selected Programs, Grantee, and Contract Audits
  • Protection of Classified Information at HST 
  • Implementation of the Federal Information Security Management Act
  • Various Financial Statement Audits

Fiscal Year 2006

  • Resource Management (RM)

 

  • OMB PART
  • Mission Performance Plans/Bureau Performance Plans
  • Senior Policy, Performance, and Resource Reviews
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG Annual Inspections and Audits)
  • Mission and Bureau Inspections
  • Selected Program, Grantee, and Contract Audits
  • Protection of Classified Information at HST 
  • Implementation of the Federal Information Security Management Act
  • Various Financial Statement Audits

Fiscal Year 2007

  • Resource Management (RM)

 

  • OMB PART
  • Mission Performance Plans/Bureau Performance Plans
  • Senior Policy, Performance, and Resource Reviews
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG Annual Inspections and Audits)
  • Mission and Bureau Inspections
  • Selected Program, Grantee, and Contract Audits
  • Protection of Classified Information at HST
  • Implementation of the Federal Information Security Management Act
  • Various Financial Statement Audits

Fiscal Year 2008

  • Resource Management (RM)

 

  • OMB PART
  • Mission Performance Plans/Bureau Performance Plans
  • Senior Policy, Performance, and Resource Reviews
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG Annual Inspections and Audits)
  • Mission and Bureau Inspections
  • Selected Program, Grantee, and Contract Audits
  • Implementation of the Federal Information Security Management Act
  • Various Financial Statement Audits

Fiscal Year 2009

  • Resource Management (RM)
  • OMB PART
  • Mission Performance Plans/Bureau Performance Plans
  • Senior Policy, Performance, and Resource Reviews
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG Annual Inspections and Audits)
  • Mission and Bureau Inspections
  • Selected Program, Grantee, and Contract Audits
  • Implementation of the Federal Information Security Management Act
  • Various Financial Statement Audits

 

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