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Fact Sheet
Office of the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance
Washington, DC
January 8, 2007

Foreign Assistance Performance Indicators

The Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance has developed standard performance indicators to measure both what is being accomplished with U.S. foreign assistance funds and the collective impact of foreign and host-government efforts to advance country development.  Links to full descriptions of the indicators are provided below.

Indicators are divided into the following three categories.

  • Strategic level indicators capture the impact of foreign and host-government efforts at the objective level (such as Investing in People or Economic Growth) and will be tied directly to the Five-year Foreign Assistance Strategy, which is currently under development. They rely on data collected by secondary sources, such as the World Bank, UNDP, and Freedom House. While these indicators have not been finalized, examples of those under consideration include: decline in poverty rate or number of women holding seats in parliament. Measured improvement is expected over multi-year time spans.
  • Area level indicators measure country performance within sub-sectors of the five functional objectives (such as Health and Education within Investing in People). These indicators measure results beyond what could be achieved solely by USG (USG, Host country and other donors' activities combined). Some examples include: number of days to start a business, number of deaths among children under five per 1,000 live births, and net enrollment rate for primary school. Like the Strategic Indicators, measured improvement is expected over multi-year time spans.
  • Element level indicators measure outputs and outcomes that are directly attributable to the USG's programs, projects and activities. For example, indicators track the number of judges trained or total amount of loans disbursed due to expenditure of USG funds. Data are collected primarily by implementing partners, and targets are set by USG agencies and their partners against these indicators on an annual basis.

Notes About the Indicators

  • Indicators were identified by working groups comprised of development experts across the USG, in consultation with multiple consortia of NGO groups.
  • Nearly all indicators capturing people-level progress will be disaggregated by sex.
  • Operating Units may supplement the standard list with "custom indicators." These indicators will be reviewed and evaluated for inclusion as standard indicators in the future.
  • FY 2007 is a pilot year for testing the value and utility of the proposed indicators. During the pilot year, F will assess the current list of indicators and continue to identify appropriate outcome indicators attributable to USG assistance. In the interim, USAID and State performance tracking systems will continue to capture non-standardized program performance data. 

Parties interested in contributing ideas to the indicators may do so by contacting the F Strategic Information team at Findicators@state.gov.

Indicators: Descriptions and Definitions

Indicator Guidance Introduction

Annex 1—Final Operational Plan Indicators with Objectives and Program Areas

Annex 2—Indicator Handbook: Peace & Security (PS)

Annex 3—Indicator Handbook: Governing Justly and Democratically (GJD)

Annex 4—Indicator Handbook: Investing in People (IIP)

Annex 5—Indicator Handbook: Economic Growth (EG)

Annex 6—Indicator Handbook: Humanitarian Assistance (HA)

Annex 7—Indicator Handbook: Program Support

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