Managing for Results: Planning, Budgeting, Managing, and Measuring

Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services
December 16, 2013

Strategic Planning is a forward-looking management tool to set priorities, focus resources, strengthen operations and ensure all are working toward shared objectives. The first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) provided broad recommendations to strengthen planning, budgeting, and performance management for diplomacy and development at the Department, as well as for USAID.

The QDDR articulated the need to elevate and improve strategic planning, to align budget requests to plans, to create better monitoring and evaluation systems, and to integrate and rationalize these components into a cohesive planning, budgeting, program, and performance management framework. From this review grew new planning processes that included increased stakeholder engagement and integrated mission-level planning; budgets built upon mission-level objectives to inform bureau-level and agency-level budget requests; measures of success and indicators that are more closely tied to plans and budgets; data driven reviews; technical assistance tools, such as program and performance management handbooks; and a Department-wide evaluation policy that mandates rigorous evaluations and use of evidence for decision-making.

The Department's new model for strategic planning differs from the past by being more streamlined and integrated with budgeting, monitoring, and evaluation. Strategic planning and resource planning are now separate and sequential processes. The Department sets objectives before determining the appropriate funding level, rather than combining strategic and resource planning.

Diagram showing the QDDR Managing for Results Framework used by the Department of State and USAID for day-to-day performance management that integrates strategic planning, budgeting, program management, and performance management.

Performance management practices at the Department of State enable programs to achieve U.S. foreign policy outcomes and promote greater accountability to the American people. Strategic planning and performance management are rooted in the Department by the National Security Strategy, the QDDR, and the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA). Day-to-day, performance management is guided by the QDDR Managing for Results Framework.

The Managing for Results Framework forms an evaluation and performance cycle for programs supporting the current Strategic Plan and influencing future strategic planning efforts and associated budget requests. In short, all of these efforts link strategic, long-term planning with budget planning; institutionalize evidence into planning, program and project design, and budget decision-making; nurture innovative ways to address tight budgets and to prioritize resources; and better inform taxpayers and Congress of our progress in carrying out the Department's mission and goals.