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Results Framework (RF)

A Results Framework (RF) graphically displays the results USAID intends to achieve over a CDCS period. The "Theory of Change" that underlies USAID’s strategy is revealed through arrows in the diagram that identify causal linkages through which Sub-IRs and IRs (at the bottom) help to bring about DOs and progress towards the CDCS Goal at the top.

A Results Framework is a graphic portrayal of the development hypotheses through which a Mission expects to achieve the Goal of a CDCS. Visually, a Results Framework brings together several, often quite distinct, streams of results, which function synergistically to produce broad development changes. Thus, an economic growth result in a Results Framework might join with a health and an education results to realize CDCS Goal stated in citizen welfare terms.

In Results Frameworks, results levels have distinct labels which are associated with the degree of responsibility USAID is accepting for their achievement as well as with their relationship to other results on the diagram.

  • CDCS Goal: the highest level outcome to be advanced or achieved by USAID, the host country, civil society actors and other development partners within the CDCS timeframe. USAID is expected to show progress toward the CDCS Goal, but the burden of getting there is a shared responsibility. In some countries USAID’s CDCS Goal may be linked to objectives in the country’s national plan or realization of the Millennium Development Goals. Care should nonetheless be taken to ensure that even a multi-dimensional CDCS Goal is clear and measurable.
  • Development Objective (DO): the most ambitious result that a Mission, together with its development partners, can materially affect, and for which USAID will be held accountable to demonstrate impact. USAID limits the number of DOs included in a CDCS to four, as shown in the example below.
  • Intermediate Results (IRs) are the set of results that support, and are necessary for, the achievement of a DO. IRs, in turn, are achieved when sets of sub-IRs , which may also be displayed on a Results Framework, are attained.

Results Framework