One of the most important sources of evidence of program effectiveness for USAID is its performance management and monitoring data. The PRM Office requested CLAimDev to help it sort through its indicators to rationalize the list. In addition to Performance Management Plan (PMP) and Performance Plan and Report (PPR) indicators, USAID/Philippines collected data for the Indo-Pacific Strategy, Gender, Youth, COVID-19, and other reporting requirements. This section of the report includes CLAimDev’s lessons learned, best practices, recommendations, and a summary of CLAimDev’s performance management and monitoring work.
- PMPs are living documents. Output indicators at the sub-IR level that are specific to different awards should be added or removed through regular PMP updates. Having a succinct list of outcome-oriented indicators at the IR level will support robust discussions on progress in achieving development outcomes with consistent data for each indicator that measures trends.
- The CLA/MEL contractor should have specialized expertise in performance management systems and activity monitoring, evaluation, and learning plans (AMELPs). The Mission should rely on their expertise to advise the technical offices and support the Mission’s implementing partners. This can only happen with open and active collaboration directly between the CLA/MEL contractor and the technical offices and partners.
- Improving the quality of evidence from indicator data is a bottom-up exercise. The CLA/MEL contractor should work directly with all new implementing partners during the first six months after award on monitoring and evaluation (M&E), such as reviewing their AMELP, providing technical assistance and mentoring on selecting and defining indicators, selecting data collection systems, aligning strategy and indicators with those of the Mission, and data verification to assess the M&E system. The data verification should occur after one year and provide a learning opportunity for the implementing partner on how to improve its M&E system.
- The Health Office’s and the CLAimDev Health Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning and Adpating (MERLA) task order provide a positive example of how regularly scheduled, ongoing work among the technical office, implementing partners, interested stakeholders, and the CLA/MEL contractor can improve the quality of evidence from performance management and monitoring systems. This type of deep collaboration requires direct engagement between the CLA/MEL contractor, the technical offices, and the implementing partners.
- CLAimDev’s work with Youth-led and its AOR provide a positive example of how a CLA/Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) contractor can work directly with the implementing partner and AOR to improve data quality for decision making and increase the M&E capacity of the implementing partner, its sub-grantees, and the AOR. This work included an AMELP review, mentoring and technical assistance, and support for the AOR’s monitoring responsibilities through follow-up third party monitoring or data verifications.