Q: What is USAID Forward?
A: In 2010, USAID embarked on an ambitious reform agenda, USAID Forward, to transform the way we work. The reforms strengthen both USAID and our partners to ensure that together we can more efficiently, effectively, and inclusively address the global challenges of today and achieve results that outlast our assistance in the future.
Each reform falls into one of three categories:
- Deliver results on a meaningful scale through a strengthened USAID. As the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development explained, the United States “cannot do all things, do them well, and do them everywhere.” In order to maximize our development dollar, we have to pursue a more strategic, focused, and results-oriented approach.
- Promote sustainable development through high-impact partnerships. In order to achieve long-term, sustainable development, we have to collaborate with and support the institutions, private sector partners, and civil society organizations that are engines of growth and progress for their own nations.
- Identify and scale up innovative, breakthrough solutions to intractable development problems. Some of the greatest successes in development have come from extending the reach of science and technological breakthroughs to those who lacked access.
We measure progress toward meeting these goals through eight topline indicators:
- Number of country development cooperation strategies (CDCSs) completed;
- Number of completed high quality evaluations;
- Number of emerging foreign service officer (FSO) and foreign service national (FSN) leaders participating in formal mentoring programs;
- Mission program funds per year implemented through local systems;
- U.S. staff work plans with at least one direct engagement performance measure;
- Total value of public-private partnerships with a minimum of 1:1 leverage;
- Percent of program funds dedicated to leveraging commercial private capital through the Development Credit Authority; and
- Number of missions actively supporting mobile money initiatives.
Q: What data are being released?
A: USAID is keeping its promise of transparency by providing not only an update on its reform efforts in the USAID Forward Progress Report 2013, but also the underlying data used to generate the report. The FY 2012 raw data are broken out by each of the eight topline USAID Forward indicators. The data are disaggregated at the country level for six of the eight indicators. For the indicator on percent of mission program funds per year implemented through local systems, the data are disaggregated at the vendor level. For the indicator on percent of program funds dedicated to leveraging commercial private capital through the Development Credit Authority, the data are disaggregated at the partner level.
Q: Why didn't you release this data when the report first came out?
A: The USAID Forward Progress Report was meant to provide a succinct, high-level summary of progress to USAID’s partners, stakeholders, and the public at large. Now, in response to requests from stakeholders and as part of USAID’s continued effort to improve transparency, we are releasing the raw data used to generate the report.
Q: Can I download the dataset?
A: Yes, you can download the dataset by topline indicator on the USAID Forward website
Q: Why are there discrepancies between the numbers in the USAID Forward Progress Report and the dataset?
A: There are minor discrepancies in some of the data. For the budget-based indicators the discrepancies arise because the data in the USAID corporate systems, from which the data are extracted, are not frozen in time.
Other small discrepancies are footnoted and explained in the dataset.
Q: Why are the data different from the Foreign Assistance Dashboard?
A: The Foreign Assistance Dashboard contains all financial data, obligations and disbursements. It also includes data related to all vendors whereas the USAID forward data includes only unilateral obligations and sub-obligations to local vendors. Furthermore, records are disaggregated by US and non-US in the Foreign Assistance Dashboard. The USAID forward data is a sub-set of the non-US data.
Q: Why are the data different from USAspending,gov
A: USA spending includes all unilateral obligations/bilateral sub-obligations to contracts and grants, a sub-set of which is included in the USAID Forward data. However, USAspending does not include government to government funding that is normally obligated through other mechanisms.
Q: Why is some information redacted?
A: USAID redacts sensitive information, on a case-by-case basis, in order to protect against potential harm while maintaining a strong presumption in favor of transparency. Information can be redacted if it contains personally identifiable information, jeopardizes the personal safety of U.S. personnel or partners, or threatens national security interests.
Q. Why weren’t certain cash transfers and trust funds counted in the original report?
A. At the time of the publication, certain cash transfers and trust funds were still being analyzed to determine if those funds were ultimately processed through local financial and procurement systems as defined in the report in Annex 2. We have since determined that some cash transfers and parts of some trust funds qualify based on the fact that the funding went through a partner government entity using their own financial management and procurement systems.
Q. Are all the data sets measured over the same time frame and are they up to date as of Sept. 2013?
A. No. As noted in the data sets, some cover FY and some cover calendar year data. The data sets are snapshots of our progress prior to releasing the report and different indicators were measured on different timeframes (CY, FY, etc.)
 There are three budget-based indicators: 1) Percent of program funds dedicated to leveraging commercial private capital through the Development Credit Authority, 2) Mission program funds per year implemented through local systems, and 3) Total value of public-private partnerships with a minimum of a 1:1 leverage.
Last updated: September 19, 2013