USAID-State Performance Data Released

The U.S. Agency for International Development and State Department released a joint 2009 performance report. Photo by: US Army Africa / CC BY 2.0 US Army AfricaCC BY 2.0

How did the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief fare in reaching AIDS-infected people in 2008-2009? Above target, according to foreign affairs performance data released by the Obama administration.

PEPFAR has assisted 2.4 million people living with HIV in fiscal 2009, more than the 2.2 million target the U.S. government has set, a report by the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, released May 17, suggests.

Formerly known as the Citizens’ Report, the Joint Summary of Performance and Financial Information for fiscal 2009 is the third in a series of three annual reports; previous ones focused on finances and performance.

The State Department and USAID are pursuing seven joint strategic goals for fiscal years 2007-2012, including promoting economic growth and prosperity, promoting international understanding, governing justly and democratically, and strengthening consular and management capabilities.

PEPFAR falls under the U.S. goal to invest in the developing world’s health, education and social services sector. Some USD10.7 billion was allocated in fiscal 2009 for global health, education and social services. Of 17 performance indicators for this strategic goal, 13 targets were met or exceeded, one was not met while data for the three remaining targets were not available, according to the report.

Other performance indicators focused on tuberculosis treatment success rates in USAID priority countries and the number of people protected against malaria under the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, both of which were met. The report, however, notes that the target for increasing the use of “modern” contraception improved but was not met.

Under the strategic goal of achieving peace and security by boosting security cooperation, combating terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, transnational crime and narcotics, and preventing conflict, the two agencies met or exceeded 12 performance indicators but fell short of nine. Data for another eight targets was not available.

The U.S. met its target of training people in conflict mitigation, but did not achieve pre-established U.S. government objectives in U.N. peacekeeping missions in Africa.

The State Department and USAID allotted USD14.2 billion for the strategic goal on achieving peace and security.

In providing humanitarian assistance, USAID and the State Department met or surpassed five targets but did not meet two. The agencies met targets on emergency food aid through USAID’s Food for Peace initiative, and on providing for the basic needs of disaster-affected households. Some USD4.95 billion was allocated toward this strategic goal in fiscal 2009.

Management challenges

The State Department plans to further improve the oversight of its procurement processes and better integrate its foreign assistance operations in order to build on progress made in fiscal 2009 on several management challenges, including on the coordination of foreign assistance and oversight of procurement and payment processes, according to the report, which also touts a pilot five-year “country assistance strategy program” launched in 2009, a new joint State-USAID budgeting process and improved oversight of field projects.

USAID challenges identified in 2009 include the management of program results, acquisition and assistance, and human capital management. The agency says it plans to strengthen coordination with the State Department’s regional security officers in conflict-torn areas gain better access to field sites, and continue implementing its Human Capital Strategic Plan along with the associated five-year workforce plan, which concludes in 2013.

Last year, USAID created a full-time position within the Office of Acquisition and Assistance to advise on performance-based contracting. The agency staffed its Global Acquisition and Assistance System with more direct hires and boosted staff awareness of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, as per advice from the Office of the Inspector General. Direct hiring for GLAAS is adequate and improvements to better comply with the Recovery Act are being implemented, the agency notes in the report

OIG observed that USAID’s 2009 performance indicators were not well-established. To address this, the agency developed and implemented a Managing for Results training course, and is seeking ways to improve the collection of data and feedback on field projects.

Ivy Mungcal contributed to this report.

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