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Performance Monitoring Plan

I. EXECUTIVE NOTE 

The Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP) is the U.S. Mission in Afghanistan’s tool to plan and manage the process of assessing and reporting progress towards assistance/foreign policy objectives identified by the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, and the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The PMP establishes a systematic process to: monitor and evaluate the achievements of assistance programs, collect and analyze performance information to track progress toward planned results, use performance information and evaluations to influence decision-making and resource allocation, and communicate results achieved or not attained. Furthermore, a PMP contains a “Results Framework,” which defines the development/foreign policy hypothesis and illustrates the cause-and effect linkages between outputs, intermediate results, and outcomes/impacts.

In accordance with the London Conference and Kabul Conference communiqués, the USG intends to channel at least 50% of its assistance funds through the GIRoA’s core budget within two years while the GIRoA achieves the necessary reforms to strengthen its public financial management systems, reduce corruption, improve budget execution, and increase revenue collection to finance key National Priority Programs. In addition, the USG intends to progressively align its development assistance behind the National Priority Programs with the goal of achieving 80% of alignment within the next two years. The PMP identifies the linkages between USG managed programs and the National Priority Programs identified in the Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS). It documents how U.S. assistance supports these programs and how the results achieved by U.S. assistance support the objectives outlined in the ANDS.

 II. INTRODUCTION 

A. HISTORY OF THE USAID/AFGHANISTAN PMP 

Following approval of USAID/Afghanistan’s five-year Strategic Plan (2006-2010), the Mission developed and approved in May 2006 a Performance Management Plan (PMP) to track and measure the implementation of its new strategy. That strategy, the first since USAID returned to the country after the 1979 Soviet invasion and subsequent rise and fall of the Taliban, addressed the need for stabilization, regulatory and economic reforms, and developing the capacity to plan and manage the implementation of these measures.The strategy aimed to support the rapid transition of Afghanistan to a more stable and productive state through the promotion of democracy, rule of law, and sustainable economic and social development responsive to citizens’ needs.

The Mission designed the original PMP to plan, manage, and report performance for 2006 through 2008. The Strategic Objective (SO) teams provided data for the indicators during 2006 and 2007, but stopped thereafter, when the SO teams were unable to provide data as program priorities changed and the security situation deteriorated.

USAID/Afghanistan adopted a new foreign assistance framework in 2008 to prepare the FY 2008 Operational Plan (OP). For the first time, the Mission selected indicators at the program element level from a standard list of indicators and submitted targets and results in the FY 2008 Performance Plan and Report (PPR).

Beginning in August 2009, the U.S. adopted two new strategies. The purpose of this new PMP is to adopt a series of performance measures for the period 2011-2015, in accordance with ADS 203.3.3. The PMP covers the entire USG foreign assistance portfolio in Afghanistan, including outputs, intermediate outcomes, outcomes, and impacts and also sets a timeline of expected evaluations and impact assessments.

B. COUNTRY LEVEL STRATEGIES 

The President’s December 2009 West Point speech laid the foundation for the U.S. Afghanistan Strategy and identified priorities in which the U.S. will address to secure Afghanistan and establish the conditions necessary to transfer reconstruction effort to the Afghan people. In addition, approved of a Civilian-Military Campaign Plan1 and the issuance in February 2010 of a new regional stabilization strategy,2 the USG redirected its focus in Afghanistan on the Afghan people and adopted an integrated, synchronized effort by civilian and military teams to work across the security, development, governance, and information sectors in new and comprehensive ways.

The President’s speech and both strategy documents highlight the importance of a strong partnership with the Government of the Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) in order to build its capacity to provide its people a stable future. These strategies resulted from close collaboration with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), as well as the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and partner nations. Although the new strategies do not explicitly identify the timeframe covered, they typically cover a five year period between FY 2011–2015.

PRESIDENT’S WEST POINT ADDRESS 

During his address to cadets at West Point, President Obama laid out three clear objectives to bolster security and clear a path for development in Afghanistan. Specifically the U.S. interventions will pursue a military strategy that will break the Taliban's momentum and increase Afghanistan's capacity over the next 18 months; work with international partners, the United Nations, and the Afghan people to pursue a more effective civilian strategy, so that GIRoA can take advantage of improved security; and that USG success in Afghanistan is inextricably linked to USG partnership with Pakistan. U.S. foreign assistance supports the second and third objectives of the President’s plan. The U.S. Mission in Afghanistan will utilized assistance resources to create a foundation necessary to support changes and capitalize on security. Assistance programs build the capacity of key Afghan ministries that provide critical services, thereby legitimizing the Afghan Government. The U.S. Mission in Afghanistan is also rapidly deploying staff throughout Afghanistan and providing with the tools and resources necessary to effect changes and transform Afghanistan to a stable and productive country. Lastly, the U.S. Mission in developing programs that address cross-border activities such as trade and economic development. These activities foster partnerships between Afghans and Pakistanis and strengthen both countries’ commitments ensure that border regions are no longer a safe haven for terrorists or the Taliban.
 

NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL STRATEGY 

The primary role of the NSC strategy is to Disrupt, Dismantle, and Defeat Al-Qa’ida and its Violent Extremist Afllilates in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Around the World. Specially, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the epicenters of the violent extremism practiced by al Qa’ida. The danger from this region will only grow if its security slides backward, the Taliban controls large swaths of Afghanistan, and al-Qa’ida is allowed to operate with impunity. To prevent future attacks on the United States, our allies, and partners, we must work with others to keep the pressure on al-Qa’ida and increase the security and capacity of our partners in this region.
 
In Afghanistan, we must deny al-Qa’ida a safe haven, deny the Taliban the ability to overthrow the government, and strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan’s security forces and government so that they can take lead responsibility for Afghanistan’s future. Within Pakistan, the USG is working with the government to address the local, regional, and global threat from violent extremists.
 
The USG achieve these objectives with a strategy comprised of three components: 
A. The USG military and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) partners within Afghanistan are targeting the insurgency, working to secure key population centers, and increasing efforts to train Afghan security forces. These military resources will allow us to create the conditions to transition to Afghan responsibility.
 
B. The USG will continue to work with our partners, the United Nations, and the Afghan Government to improve accountable and effective governance. As we work to advance our strategic partnership with the Afghan Government, we are focusing assistance on supporting the President of Afghanistan and those ministries, governors, and local leaders who combat corruption and deliver for the people.
 
C. The USG will foster a relationship with Pakistan founded upon mutual interests and mutual respect. To defeat violent extremists who threaten both of our countries, we will strengthen Pakistan’s capacity to target violent extremists within its borders, and continue to provide security assistance to support those efforts. 
 
The assistance under the authority of the U.S. Mission in Afghanistan supports this strategy. Specifically, assistance will create the conditions necessary to transfer reconstruction efforts to the Afghans. Furthermore, assistance is strengthening the GIRoA systems to provide services directly to Afghans and improve oversight and government accountability. The U.S. Mission uses this strategy as a guide when designing and implementing assistance programs.
 

AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN REGIONAL STABILIZATION STRATEGY 

The “Afghanistan and Pakistan Regional Stabilization Strategy” sets forth a “whole-of-government strategy” to protect vital U.S. interests in Afghanistan and Pakistan and bring stability to both nations. The Strategy’s core goal is “to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al-Qaeda and its safe havens in Pakistan, and to prevent their return to Pakistan or Afghanistan.” In Afghanistan it focuses on developing the capacity of Afghan institutions to withstand and diminish the threat posed by extremism and to deliver high impact economic development. The Strategy also mandates that civilian interventions be integrated and synchronized with military activities, while acknowledging that “the pace and reach of civilian program implementation depends on a security environment permissive enough to allow civilian efforts to proceed.” The strategy identifies six Assistance Objectives and six cross-cutting themes.
 
Functional Objectives 
Rebuilding Afghanistan’s Agricultural Sector: The number one development priority is to restore Afghanistan’s once vibrant agricultural sector through a civilian-military agricultural development strategy. This effort is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) with support from USAID, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Army National Guard Agri-Business Development Teams. The sector objectives are to increase agricultural jobs and income and increase Afghans’ confidence in their government.
 
Strengthening Afghan Governance: Foremost among the U.S. governance objectives is to help make local government more visible, accountable, and responsive, particularly in the South and the East. Priority is to be given to “reform-oriented service delivery ministries” while broadening U.S. support and engagement at the provincial and district levels. All planned governance interventions will include support for reinvigorated Afghan plans to reduce corruption by strengthening institutions that can provide checks on government power. Other objectives in this sector include enhancing Afghan capacity by extensive training of civil servants and supporting efforts to reform Afghanistan’s electoral system and democratic institutions.
 
Enhancing Afghan Rule of Law: The principal focus of the U.S. rule of law effort is to reverse the public perception of GIRoA as weak or predatory by helping the Afghan government and local communities develop responsive and predictable dispute resolution mechanisms that offer an alternative to the Taliban shadow justice system. Assistance will be provided in support of Afghan efforts to strengthen the formal state justice system, stabilize the traditional justice system, and build a safe, secure, and humane civilian corrections system.
 
Supporting Afghan-led Reintegration: The U.S. will provide political and financial support to the Afghan government’s reintegration program that will reach out to communities, individuals, and groups. Employing USAID and CERP funds, and contributions from international donors, the reintegration program will provide targeted economic development and licit job creation, especially in agriculture, for former insurgents.
 
Combating the Afghan Narcotics Trade: The Strategy emphasizes interdiction instead of eradication. In addition to activities to reduce demand and public information campaigns, it focuses on creating licit jobs and income in the agricultural sector by providing farmers with sustainable alternatives to poppy cultivation.
 
Building an Economic Foundation for Afghanistan’s Future: This part of the new Strategy encompasses both stabilization and economic development programs that are expected to provide a foundation for sustainable economic growth. It seeks to create sustainable private sector jobs, increase government capacity in support of economic growth and development, expand and improve energy and infrastructure, and promote government fiscal sustainability. As in the Civ-mil Plan, focus is also centered primarily on population centers and key economic corridors.
 
Cross-Cutting Themes 
Increased Direct Assistance: Increasing levels of assistance are being channeled directly through Afghan government organizations and projects, including directly to Afghan ministries that have been certified to receive direct U.S. funding. The USG intends to channel at least 50% of its assistance funds through the GIRoA’s core budget within two years.
 
Improved Accountability: In addition to significantly increased numbers of additional personnel employed to monitor program implementation, the number of multi-year contracts to U.S. firms and organizations has been slashed and new mechanisms to improve performance introduced.
 
Decentralization: Improvement in project implementation is expected to result from greater devolution of implementation authority to USAID officials assigned to regional civ-mil platforms (Regional Commands and PRTs). Projects are expected to be more responsive to local needs as a result of this improved coordination. 
Afghan First: The new U.S. strategic approach is to support Afghan leadership, capacity-building efforts, and increased local procurement.
 
True Partnership: Afghans are at the center of the design, procurement, and implementation of U.S. assistance programs, a process promoted by some 55 U.S. advisors working in core Afghan ministries. Moreover, USG activities are aligned not only with the Afghan National Development Strategy, but several Afghan sector strategies. The USG intends to align its development assistance behind the National Priority Programs with the goal of achieving 80% of alignment within the next two years
 
Advancing the Rights of Afghan Women and Girls: Women’s empowerment is inextricably linked to the achievement of USG objectives in Afghanistan – including improvements in areas such as security, economic opportunity, governance, and social development. Accordingly, the Strategy emphasizes assistance to build women’s capacity to participate fully in Afghan society by:
  • Improving the security of women and institutions that serve women; 
  • Supporting women’s leadership development in the public, private, and voluntary sectors; 
  • Promoting women’s access to formal and informal justice mechanisms; 
  • Enforcing existing law and Constitutional rights of women; 
  • Improving women’s and girls’ access to education and healthcare; 
  • Strengthening and expanding economic development opportunities for women, especially in the agriculture sector; and 
  • Increasing women’s political empowerment and participation.

INTEGRATED CIVILIAN-MILITARY CAMPAIGN PLAN 

The United States Government Integrated Civilian-Military (Civ-mil) Campaign Plan for Support to Afghanistan aims to reverse insurgent momentum by refocusing U.S. efforts on the Afghan population and implementing a Counter-Insurgency (COIN) or stabilization campaign. Civ-mil teams are organized at the district, provincial, and regional levels to implement the COIN measures, including new investments in critical infrastructure and service delivery systems. This approach requires that increased GIRoA capacity be sustainable at all levels from the local village to the capital Kabul. The plan also establishes 11 key counter-insurgency “transformative effects” or change objectives cutting across security, development, governance, and information operations.3 The effects are:
 
1. Population Security; 
2. Claiming the Information Initiative; 
3. Access to Justice; 
4. Expansion of Accountable and Transparent Governance; 
5. Elections and Continuity of Governance; 
6. Creating Sustainable Jobs for Population Centers; 
7. Agricultural Opportunity and Market Access; 
8. Action against Irreconcilables; 
9. Countering the Nexus of Insurgency, Narcotics, Corruption and Criminality; 
10. Community and Government-led Reintegration; and 
11. Cross-border Access for Commerce not Insurgents
 
At the core of the civ-mil campaign plan is a geographic focus on unstable districts and regions of the country. Some 80 “key-terrain” districts have been identified for interventions in 2010 and 2011. The highest COIN priority is to target southern Afghanistan and, most notably, Helmand and Kandahar provinces, the heart of the insurgency. The second priority is eastern Afghanistan. The objective is to protect the population and “create space for previously isolated communities and government” to undertake security, reconstruction, and governance. The civ-mil strategy and activities assume that “securing the most unstable provinces will have a cascading impact on the rest of the country.”
 
The Plan also presents the organizational and management framework for all USG elements to work together in concert with ISAF elements at the five primary levels of operational responsibility: national, regional, sub-regional, provincial, and district.
 
National Level: A deputies-level senior decision-making body (including USAID) makes national policy and decisions regarding the Campaign Plan. Working-level civ-mail groups are responsible for further development, monitoring, and assessment of their respective counter-insurgency activities in the Plan. They also oversee execution of the Plan, assess progress periodically, and work with relevant GIRoA and international partners on implementation.
 
Regional Integrated Team (IT-R): Led by the RC Commander (CDR), a three-star General, these four regional commands provide support and guidance to subordinate levels, develop and implement an integrated civ-mil plan, assesse progress, and allocate resources. Each regional command has a Civ-Mil Fusion Cell where civilian, international, and military elements are represented.
 
Sub-Regional Integrated Team (IT-S): This civilian team synchronizes all USG civilian efforts in the sub-regional area. It includes sub-regional military commanders and the brigade combat team commander, the USG Senior Civilian Representative, and representatives of other government agencies.
 
Provincial Integrated Team (IT-P): The IT-P focuses on implementation, but also supports and guides district level activities. It is led by leaders of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), the Agri-Business Development Team (ADT) the battalion equivalent, SOF elements, the ANSF mentor and partner teams and the provincial USG civilian lead. The PRT, USAID, DOS and USDA representatives and other implementing partners operating in the province support the latter.
 
District Support Team (DST): Comprised of all USG civilian elements plus ISAF military forces in the district, the DST is a joint civilian and military action group directed by the USG civilian lead, commanders of the primary military elements, and the ANSF mentor and partner team. Although focused primarily on implementing activities at the district level, it also formulates a civ-mil plan for district support, assesses progress in achieving stability in the area, allocates resources, and engages key international community and GIRoA partners.
 
The U.S. Mission in Afghanistan utilizes the Civil-Military Campaign Plan as a tool to understand the effect of assistance efforts on COIN objectives. The plan is a tactical document to inform the implementation of reconstruction projects and ensure their coordination with military efforts. USG assistance interventions link to all 11 transformative effects, but it is important to note that the USG does not use this plan to design programs. The USG designs programs based on the President’s West Point address, the Regional Stabilization Strategy, the Afghan National Development Strategies. These strategies are recognized as the primary USG policies that assistance is to follow. USG assistance programming is in line with the objectives identified during the Kabul Conference.
 

AFGHANISTAN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 

The Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) serves as Afghanistan’s Poverty 
Reduction Strategy Paper and uses the pillars, principles and benchmarks of the Afghanistan Compact as a foundation. The pillars and goals of the ANDS are: 
1. Security: Achieve nationwide stabilization, strengthen law enforcement, and improve personal security for every Afghan. 
2. Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights: Strengthen democratic processes and institutions, human rights, the rule of law, delivery of public services and government accountability. 
3. Economic and Social Development: Reduce poverty, ensure sustainable development through a private-sector-led market economy, improve human development indicators, and make significant progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
 
The U.S. Mission in Afghanistan utilizes the ANDS as a guide to design and implement assistance programs to support GIRoA identified priorities and programs. The ANDS is an integral part of assistance and is the foundations that will build the sustainable development and ensure that reconstruction efforts are Afghan led. The USG is committed to supporting the ANDS and will progressively align its development assistance behind the National Priority Programs identified in ANDS with the goal of achieving 80% of alignment within the next two years.
 

C. FUNDING ASSUMPTIONS 

Funding levels expected to achieve the planned results over the five year (2011-2015) implementation period have yet to be determined. Resources requested for year one (FY 2011) that cover the civilian activities described in this PMP total $ 3.853 billion. By Activity Objective this level includes the following: Rebuilding the Agricultural Sector, $240 million; Strengthening Governance, $1.760 billion; Enhancing Rule of Law, $248 million; Combating Narcotics, $437 million; Building a Foundation for Afghanistan’s Future, $1.152 billion; and Other $16 million. Although long-term budget forecasts for the years FY 2012 – FY 2015 are unknown, there is a high degree of confidence that Congress, USAID, and Department of State will sustain the civilian surge and provide appropriate resources to achieve the performance results identified in this PMP.
 

D. MEASURING PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS 

The annual Survey of the Afghan People conducted by The Asia Foundation (TAF) is a useful nationwide assessment of Afghan public opinion for policy makers and actors in government, civil society, the international community, and the broader Afghan citizenry. The Survey provides a snapshot of national perceptions in key policy areas including governance, democratic values, women and society, security, and the economy. Assistance Objective teams use the TAF survey to gauge changes in public perceptions as result of USG assistance activities.
 
III. IMPLEMENTING THE PMP 
A. DATA COLLECTION 
BASELINE AND TARGET DATA 
There are many indicators that do not have baseline data or targets. Some are Mission outcome or impact indicators that are either new or were in the previous PMP but for which data was never collected. Still others are suggested indicators for new activities now in the design stage that Technical Teams need to decide upon once leadership authorize the activities. A few Mission custom output indicators also need baseline data for the same reasons explained above. Some indicators may have baseline data, but lack target data, so targets for these indicators are required. This PMP proposes setting baseline and targets in the first and second quarter of FY 2011. Targets for all F indicators have to be set in the first quarter as part of the Performance Plan and Reporting process. In some cases AO teams need to finalize the indicators before baseline and target information is collected.
 

AO AND IR LEVEL PERFORMANCE DATA 

Many of the AO and IR level indicators are custom Mission outcome or impact indicators and will, in some cases, require conducting surveys to obtain data. This PMP suggests that surveys on outcome and impact indicators be conducted in Quarter 1 or Quarter 2 of FY 2011 (baseline survey) and follow-on surveys a year or two later, depending on the periodicity of the proposed survey. A number of these surveys will be conducted by third party entities that normally collect this kind of data, so USAID will be obliged to adjust its schedule for obtaining the data based on when these entities conduct the surveys.
 

ACTIVITY LEVEL DATA 

This data relates to F standard and custom indicators reported annually; so the U.S. Mission in Afghanistan needs to acquire this information during the first quarter from implementing partners (at least a month before the Performance Plan and Report is due). Mission COTRs and Activity Managers should make sure that partners regularly collect performance data, particularly OP indicator data, to avoid any delays in compiling and submitting that data to USAID for the Performance Plan and Report.
 

REVIEWING PERFORMANCE INFORMATION 

The main mechanisms for reviewing performance data are the semi-annual performance reviews (also called portfolio reviews). Performance reviews not only offer an opportunity to review progress on program implementation, but also the results of the projects to ensure annual targets have been met or are on track for being met. Performance reviews take place in the first and third quarter of the year. In addition to performance reviews, the U.S. Mission in Afghanistan will hold quarterly reviews data collected to ensure quality. The USAID Program Office will lead these efforts and work with all USAID Technical Office and relevant Embassy Sections.
 

B. REPORTING 

PERFORMANCE RESULTS 

Performance results on Standard F indicators are reported in the first quarter of the fiscal year (November 30th). Mission custom indicator data should also be reported during that time. The Mission should encourage implementing partners to schedule their surveys for assessing project outcomes during the last quarter of the year so that survey results can also be reported to USAID as part of the annual reporting. Surveys done by third party partners are harder to schedule, but USAID should work with the third party entities implementing these surveys to have them done according to their normal schedule (e.g., every 3-5 years for DHS or similar surveys).
 

ON- DEMAND 

Although performance monitoring is essentially a semi-annual and annual process within the framework of established results management approaches, demands for performance information are constant and various in a high profile program such as Afghanistan’s. The Afghan Info database, enabled to track performance indicators in addition to activity inputs and outputs, will be the basis for contributing to other regular, on-going reporting exercises and to the many ad-hoc requests for performance analysis that are a constant element of the environment of high profile programs. To meet these needs, the addition of the PMP tracking capability, user friendly input interfaces (so that data is recent and accurate), and an agile reporting and analytical module will be essential.
 

C. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT 

Performance management is a shared responsibility that depends for its success on the “ownership” of USAID activity managers, implementing partners, and senior management. Experience shows that the only way to successfully develop a performance monitoring and reporting system for a large program spanning so many operating units is to collaborate closely with those units. USAID and its USG collaborators should continue this participatory approach and involve as many actors as possible along the way. Thus, the overall approach to PMP system development and execution is a combination of technical inputs by the Program and technical offices and frequent communication and discussion with implementing partners.
 

D. IMPLEMENTING PARTNER RESPONSIBILITIES 

The U.S. Mission in Afghanistan will adopt language to be included in bilateral contracts and grants that specify the duties of the implementing partners to perform monitoring functions, adopt Mission performance indicators whenever possible, and especially provide data in the formats specified by the Mission. It is important that this language always be inserted in RFPs and RFA’s so that bidders will adequately budget for their M&E responsibilities.

 

Last updated: August 20, 2014

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