Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning

Explore I4DI’s publications portfolio. Committed to shared learning, continuous growth, and transparency, I4DI welcomes feedback and dialogue on any of our publications and reporting products.

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The USDA FFPr Exporting Quality Program undergoes a comprehensive evaluation in this document, highlighting its impact and efficacy from September 2015 to December 2021. Managed by the International Executive Service Corps (IESC), this initiative strives to foster development and progress in the food sector. The Institute for Development Impact, with contributions from experts like Brian Foster, Molly Hageboeck, and Elizabeth Issac, has meticulously assessed the program’s trajectory, culminating in this final evaluation. The report delves into the program’s context, its alignment with desired outcomes, and offers insights into areas of improvement and success.

In today’s competitive business landscape, evidence-based decision-making is vital for the success and longevity of organizations. It allows companies to identify potential risks and opportunities, allocate resources efficiently, and adapt to changing market conditions. Compliance with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) regulations and industry standards is crucial for mitigating legal and financial risks, and maintaining a loyal and growing customer base. Data analysis plays an essential role in informing business decision-making and ensuring adherence to these regulations and standards, which in turn impacts long-term business performance.

This article, written for the Small Business Association for International Companies (SBAIC) discusses the importance of harnessing data analysis for ESG compliance and sustainable business practices, developing learning agendas for effective ESG compliance management, and provides five illustrative learning questions that can be used to guide ESG and sustainable performance data analysis.

I4DI, in collaboration with USAID and Gap Inc, our partners on the Women + Water Alliance, won USAID’s 2022 Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) Case Competition. This resource details our submission to that competition, including how we applied CLA best practices to improve and sustain the health and wellbeing of women and communities touched by the apparel industry in India, as well as to empower women to become change agents for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) management in their communities. As a result of our CLA efforts, the number of people empowered to improve their access to drinking water and sanitation through the Women and Water Alliance increased from just under 70,000 to more than 900,000, and ultimately reached more than 2 million people by the end of the activity. 

This Activity MEL Plan webinar is a one-hour asynchronous learning activity to provide staff in the USAID Bureau of Resilience and Food Security (RFS) with guidance and real-world examples on how to develop, review, and otherwise ensure activities have strong Activity MEL Plans. The webinar is time-stamped to enable users to quickly and efficiently navigate through the webinar to desired sections. Topics include: 

Introduction and Overview
Monitoring Plan
Beneficiary Feedback Plan
Evaluation Plan
Roles and Responsibilities
Schedule of Activity MEL Tasks
Tips for Reviewing Activity MEL Plans

Performance indicators are pivotal for the successful implementation, adaptive management, and optimization of development programs. This guidance note, a part of the RFS Good Practice MEL Notes series, underscores the significance of these indicators in line with USAID’s requirements for Activity MEL Plans. It emphasizes the inclusion of at least one performance indicator for each outcome in an activity’s logic model. Special attention is given to gender equality and female empowerment indicators. This document serves as a beacon for understanding the diverse types of indicators and their integration into the developmental framework.

Performance indicators and their targets play a critical role in successful implementation, adaptive management, and maximizing performance of development programs. A target is defined by USAID as “a specific, planned level of a result to be achieved within a specific timeframe with a given level of resources.” This USAID/RFS Good Practice MEL Note walks readers through RFS good practice examples to facilitate better target setting during the Activity MEL Plan development process and activity implementation. It also provides some guidance on how to adjust targets during implementation and helpful tips for setting performance indicator targets.

Performance indicators play a critical role in monitoring activity performance and understanding what results are achieved. In essence, Performance Indicator Reference Sheets (PIRS) are worksheets that define indicators and ensure that they generate consistent, high quality data across portfolios. This USAID/RFS Good Practice MEL Note describes how to develop or review PIRS for Activity MEL Plans and highlights several RFS good practice examples. Annex A annotates the links between a standard and an activity PIRS. Annex B provides tips for A/CORs for reviewing PIRS.