Performance Highlights

Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services
February 15, 2013

Diagram showing the new QDDR Managing for Results Framework used by the Department of State and USAID for day-to-day performance management.  This multi-phase process of learning and adapting, involves setting strategic goals and priorities, designing programs to achieve the goals, systematically monitoring and evaluating program activities, using performance data to inform program and resource decisions, and sharing results with stakeholders.The Department of State and USAID partner together with other federal agencies to plan and execute programs that address the global challenges of the 21st century. The performance management practices put in place at the Department and USAID facilitate the achievement of program success and promote greater accountability to the American people. A multi-phase process of learning and adapting, as reflected in the Managing for Results Framework (figure on right), involves setting strategic goals and priorities, designing programs to achieve the goals, systematically monitoring and evaluating program activities, using performance data to inform program and resource decisions, and sharing results with stakeholders.

To demonstrate the progress achieved by State and USAID toward meeting their joint diplomacy and development goals in FY 2012, 121 representative performance indicators were published in the FY 2012 Annual Performance Reports (APR) of the Department of State and USAID. The figure on page 10 shows FY 2012 performance results across the seven Joint Strategic Goals. The results for each indicator were reviewed against previously determined targets to determine its performance rating (i.e., On Target, Above Target, Below Target). The following section highlights 16 of these representative indicators, organized by Strategic Goal and accompanied by an explanation of each goal and analyses of results achieved in FY 2012. Complete FY 2012 performance results for indicators for programs managed by the Department and/or shared with USAID will be published in the FY 2014 Congressional Budget Justification.

Performance Management at State and USAID

As noted above, day-to-day performance management at the Department and USAID is guided by the new Managing for Results Framework. The Framework puts planning first, making it easier to align subsequent budget requests with department-level goals and objectives, and allowing Washington-based bureaus and posts overseas to identify what success looks like, measure progress, and use performance data to influence decision making The Framework responds to recommendations from the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) to better align planning, budgeting, program management, and monitoring and evaluation to ensure that both agencies' highest strategic priorities are funded, and to produce the performance information and evidence needed to make smart investments.

Following are examples of achievements in FY 2012 under the new integrated planning, budgeting and performance management framework. These examples reflect efforts to continually improve results and increase accountability to our stakeholders:

Indicator Reengineering Process. In the spring of 2012, as part of the ongoing process to maintain a suite of indicators that can be used to represent performance for foreign assistance programs, the Department and USAID established the Master Indicator List (MIL) Change Request process as a systematic way to regularly update standard Foreign Assistance indicators from both agencies' bureaus, and to continually improve the suite of indicators and the overall quality and relevance of performance reporting. Indicators associated with the Department's State Operations also underwent analysis using the rigorous application of SMART criteria (specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, time-bound). Both processes resulted in a suite of State Operations and Foreign Assistance performance indicators that more accurately measure program performance across the Department and USAID's diplomatic and development efforts.

Diagram showing USAID's Program Cycle - Agency-wide policy and strategies, strategic planning (through Country Development and Cooperation Strategies), project design and implementation, as well as evaluation and monitoring. These components, representing the Multi-Year Strategic Planning. The Department and USAID launched new strategic planning processes for Washington-based bureaus and posts overseas. Known as Joint Regional Strategies (JRS) and Functional Bureau Strategies (FBS) for bureaus, the JRS and FBS are used to inform budget decisions and shape performance reviews. The JRS and FBS advise the post-level Integrated Country Strategies (ICS), which encapsulate U.S. Government foreign policy priorities for a geographic region. In addition, USAID introduced the Program Cycle (figure on right) as the foundational framework for evidence-based development. The Program Cycle applies components of the Managing for Results Framework to the USAID context to reinforce the linkage between Agency policies and strategies, country-level strategic planning, project design and implementation, and performance monitoring and evaluation. The Program Cycle will enable USAID to provide a more strategic and evidence-based approach to decision-making.

Monitoring and Evaluation. The Department and USAID made strides in FY 2012 in the collection and use of performance information, including evaluations, to build evidence for programmatic and budgetary decisions. In February 2012, the Department approved a new Evaluation Policy that applies to all Department of State-funded programs, projects, and activities. The policy was developed in close coordination with USAID and other partner organizations to ensure uniform definitions and practices, and emphasizes the use of evaluation information to inform decision-making. Both the Department's Evaluation Policy and USAID's Evaluation policy, issued in 2011, recognize that evaluation is the means through which agencies can obtain systematic, meaningful feedback about the successes (and shortcomings) of their efforts. The Department and USAID developed an Evaluation Registry to track evaluations completed in a given fiscal year and to reduce duplication in the collection of evaluative information. The Department is currently building a document sharing site, similar to USAID's Development Experience Clearing House, where evaluation reports of Department-funded programs and activities will be made available to the general public.

Data-Driven Reviews. In accordance with new requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act (GPRAMA), the Department and USAID initiated regular, data-driven reviews for both agencies' highest foreign policy goals, known as Agency Priority Goals (APGs). These reviews engaged senior leadership at all levels in discussing progress on key efforts and recommended actions going forward. The data-driven reviews will serve as the basis for ongoing analysis by senior level officials of both agencies' key program and budgetary priorities.

Average Performance Rating and Number of Reported Results
Strategic Goal Number of Reported Results Average Rating
Above Target On Target Below Target Not Available
SG1: Achieving Peace and Security 6 6 0 6 2.67
SG2: Governing Justly and Democratically 2 0 3 5 1.90
SG3: Investing in People 4 2 2 20 1.64
SG4: Promoting Economic Growth and Prosperity 4 1 5 4 2.36
SG5: Providing Humanitarian Assistance 5 3 3 2 2.85
SG6: Promoting International Understanding 1 4 0 2 2.57
SG7: Strengthening Consular and Management Capabilities 6 10 8 7 2.48
The above chart displays the ratings of indicators for each Strategic Goal.

Total Appropriated Resources Invested

Pie chart summarizing the FY 2012 total resources invested. Values are as follows: State Operations: $19.184 billion. Foreign Operations: $33.918 billion. Total resources invested: $53.102 billion.The pie chart to the right reflects total resources invested in FY 2012 for the seven Joint State-USAID Strategic Goals. The total of $53.102 billion included $19.184 billion for State Operations and $33.918 billion for Foreign Operations. This amount included appropriations for contributions to international organizations, diplomatic and consular programs, and foreign assistance, among others. A breakdown of resources invested by Strategic Goal can be found in the following seven Strategic Goal chapters.