Performance monitoring provides Missions with information on the progress of their activities, projects, and programs in achieving CDCS Development Objectives. Constantly changing circumstances in the complex development environments in which USAID works require Missions and their partners to monitor the general context and specific assumptions underlying their efforts as well as the performance indicators in their plans.
The effectiveness of a performance management system depends, in good part, on whether and how management units put such systems to work at their level within an organization, rather than treating them as simply conduits for delivering information to headquarters. Understanding and actively utilizing the power of timely performance monitoring information at the local level, in projects, among first line assistance delivery teams, is a critical first step towards owning a performance management system. Projects like USAID's Profit Zambia have this sort of vision. They view the project as the primary user of performance monitoring data. Reporting on indicators to the Mission, and by extension to USAID/Washington, is a by-product of the type of locally "owned" M&E Plan this project developed.
This section of the E3 M&E toolkit provides information on key steps in a process for generating and using high quality performance data. The E3 toolkit page on Collecting and Storing Performance Data highlights the importance of thinking about performance data systems and databases in terms of how they will support Mission access to information, including through an active dashboard, as well as preparing reports for USAID/Washington. It also showcases USAID’s leadership in expanding data visualization as a mechanism for delivering monitoring messages to large audiences. The kit page on Conducting Data Quality Assessments and the associated Indicator Performance Report USAID has developed will help Missions ensure that the data they gather reflects high standards set in ADS 203 and the Agency’s information policy. The E3 toolkit webpage on Inclusive Performance Reporting is intended to help missions conceptualize how disseminating monitoring information to front-line assistance delivery teams as well as to USAID/Washington helps foster change and ensure accountability.