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Strategy and Results Framework

At the country level, the results and impact achieved by projects are dependent upon a well-conceived strategy and Results Framework, which is informed by evidence obtained from evaluation and other learning. Country strategies are informed by broad technical strategies that cascade from USAID’s Policy Framework for 2011-2015 through a range of topical priorities  that includes economic growth and trade capacity building.

USAID strategies guide the development assistance process at every level. Technical area strategy papers—in economic growth, health, education and other areas—draw on evidence across these fields to identify strategic paths for action that capitalized on USAID’s strengths. Strategies that address cross cutting issues include USAID’s 2012 papers on Climate Change and Development: Clean Resilient Growth and on Gender Equality and Female Empowerment.

For trade facilitation projects, USAID’s strategy, Building Trade Capacity in the Developing World, continues to provide a useful overview of USAID’s strategic thinking. USAID recently supplemented this strategic perspective through its initiation of the Partnership for Trade Facilitation, in 2011, which is working with 17 countries to respond quickly to requests for assistance from trade and customs authorities for help with implementing aspects of the proposed WTO agreement on trade facilitation. In December 2013, in Bali, the World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted a Trade Facilitation Agreement that is considered by the WTO to be "one of the biggest reforms of the WTO since its establishment in 1995." USAID's Partnership for Trade Facilitation can be a strategic resource for Missions that want to help country partners implement this new WTO Agreement.

This section of the E3 M&E kit provides you with tools for drawing on suggestions from these strategy papers as well as on a strong understanding of country level needs and constraints to develop an evidence-based country strategy (CDCS) and a portfolio of projects through which its Development Objectives will be achieved. 

Pages in this section will help you clarify the cause-and-effect logic that links USAID funded activities to country-level results. If you are relatively new to USAID, start with the section’s introduction to Development Hypotheses and then move on to its page on the development of a Results Framework. If you have experience with these tools, you may wish to jump directly to a template for preparing a Results Framework. One version is for developing a Results Framework without Intermediate Results (IRs). A second template option is for developing a Results Framework with IRs and Sub-Intermediate Results (Sub-IRs).