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Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning in a CDCS

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning are important for adaptively managing the implementation of the strategy. In this section, the Mission must include a brief discussion of the Mission’s overall priorities and approach to monitoring, evaluation and learning. The monitoring, evaluation and learning section is a precursor for developing the Mission’s PMP, to be approved within six months of CDCS approval. The CDCS is also where USAID introduces its Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA priorities for the strategy period.

In this section of a CDCS, the Mission should identify any knowledge gaps in the Results Framework that monitoring, evaluation, or “collaborating, learning, and adapting” (CLA) may address. Missions must list indicators for measuring results in the Results Framework in a required Results Framework Indicator Annex to the CDCS.

To assist staff as they prepare the monitoring, evaluation, and learning sections of a CDCS, USAID has developed three online toolkits that provide guidance documents, as well as tools and templates that are required or may be useful at various stages in the program cycle.

Monitoring Toolkit

USAID’s online Monitoring Toolkit was posted in 2017. The toolkit includes materials on some but not all of the sections it identifies. It indicates that other materials will be “coming soon.” This Toolkit updates information provided in an earlier Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP) Toolkit, which was last updated in 2014. Where it may be helpful, this website adapts some of the templates in these volumes and includes them as editable PDFs that readers can download and save or share with others.

USAID Monitoring Tookit

An important feature of the Monitoring Toolkit is the way in which it integrates monitoring into the entire Program cycle and explains the value of monitoring data for learning as well as accountability. In a useful graphic, replicated below, the Toolkit it shows how monitoring interfaces with other tasks across the lifecycle of a Mission strategy.

USAID Monitoring Tookit

Evaluation Toolkit

USAID’s Evaluation Toolkit, like the Monitoring Toolkit, includes a mix of guidance, tools and templates, and is organized in relation to stages in the Program Cycle. Materials selected for this website are meant to compliment this toolkit as well as ADS 201.

Evaluation Toolkit

As in its Monitoring Toolkit, USAID provides a graphic, reproduced below, that shows how evaluation is integrated into USAID’s work throughout the Program Cycle.

Evaluation Toolkit

Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Toolkit

USAID’s CLA Toolkit includes links to a variety of resources in the Agency’s online Learning Lab. As with other aspects of this website, those that address CLA are intended to complement USAID’s toolkits. Some replication naturally occurs, but its main effect is to highlight particularly useful resources.

CLA Toolkit

Following the lead of its other toolkits, the CLA Toolkit provides a graphic, included below, that helps readers understand how broadly the Agency hopes to incorporate collaboration, learning and adapting into the way it goes about its business over the life of a Mission strategy. The elements of this CLA wheel are described in an early CLA Toolkit titled Understanding CLA which can be accessed directly from this webpage.

Understanding CLA