One of the ways MCC is changing the conversation about foreign assistance is a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) approach that starts with tracking performance on processes and outputs at the beginning of a compact and then continues to track high-level outcomes and impacts at the end of a compact in order to concretely assess how its activities affected poverty and economic growth. View the economic rate of return analyses that were used to estimate these aggregate estimated impacts, and details on the impact evaluations that will measure the achievement of these results.
All figures as of September 10, 2016.
Progress Towards Results Across Compacts To Date
There is already significant progress towards long-term impacts. Above are the latest results in five key sectors—Agriculture and Irrigation, Education, Property Rights and Land Policy, Roads, and Water and Sanitation—demonstrating milestones achieved and people reached. More detailed information on these and other higher-level outcomes to track progress towards changes in income are collected at the country level. In all of these sectors, MCC plans to track not only outputs, but also outcomes and impacts across compacts. Those higher-level results materialize as compacts mature and will be published as soon as they are available.
By Country Program
MCC aggregates results in key sectors to measure progress in those areas across Compacts.
|Property Rights and Land Policy|
|Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation|
In all of these sectors, MCC plans to track not only outputs, but also outcomes and impacts across Compacts. Those higher-level results materialize as compacts mature and will be published as soon as they are available.
In order to fulfill MCC’s commitment to tracking results all the way through high-level impacts on poverty and economic growth, M&E is integrated into all phases of compact operations—from compact development through implementation. The diagram below demonstrates how this takes place and how the results that are tracked become part of a feedback loop that is used to improve performance during a compact and to apply lessons learned to future compacts.
Integrating M&E in Compact Operations
Every country’s approach for assessing progress towards results is outlined in its compact M&E Plan, the central tool for monitoring and evaluating the compact’s activities. Development of the M&E Plan begins during compact development, and it is completed around the start of compact implementation. The M&E Plan is developed collaboratively by the MCA and MCC and is sometimes modified during the life of the compact to reflect changes in program circumstances or when new information is available. Every country reports quarterly against its M&E Plan.
Monitoring Compact Performance
As a federal agency, MCC is committed to the principles of performance measurement mandated under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), and applies this same focus on results to its compact programming. MCC monitors progress towards compact results on a regular basis using performance indicators that are specified in the M&E Plan. The M&E Plan specifies indicators at all levels so that progress towards final results can be tracked at every step. Lower level indicators (process and output level) and their targets are typically drawn from project and activity work plans. Higher level indicators and their targets are often, though not always, directly linked to the economic rate of return analysis that was conducted to estimate the impacts of the investment and are drawn from the benefit streams of that analysis.
Every quarter each MCA submits an Indicator Tracking Table (MS Excel file) that shows actual performance of each indicator relative to the baseline level that was established before the activity began and the performance targets that were established in the M&E Plan. See some of the key performance indicators and their accompanying data by country. MCC reviews this data every quarter to assess whether results are being achieved and integrates this information into project management decisions.
Data for performance monitoring and reporting comes from baseline and follow-up surveys, project implementers and other entities. MCC strongly supports comprehensive, quality data collection conducted by local resources and frequently uses compact M&E funds to invest in surveys fielded both by private firms and national statistical agencies or other government entities.
All collected data, whether from surveys or implementers, undergoes regular data quality checks managed by the MCAs and monitored by MCC to ensure its integrity and accuracy.
Evaluating Compact Performance
Evaluation is a cornerstone of MCC’s focus on results, and is key to measuring impacts during and at the end of a compact. While monitoring a compact’s performance against indicators and targets is important, it is not sufficient to fully assess its effectiveness, particularly on poverty and economic growth. MCC therefore supports a variety of evaluation types to complement performance monitoring and deepen the analysis of data gathered to measure results at higher levels.
Generally, two types of evaluations are conducted:
The term “Mid-Course Evaluation” is used at MCC to describe a wide range of possible evaluations and assessments that draw on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Mid-course assessments are not required for all projects. However, MCC may decide to conduct such an assessment as necessary. MCAs also sometimes conduct mid-course evaluations or special studies for a variety of purposes. Usually, these are to review progress during implementation, compile lessons learned and provide a qualitative context for interpreting monitoring data. Mid-course evaluations can also be used to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of implementation during the life of the compact.
MCC supports final evaluations to systematically and objectively assess the design, implementation and results of completed programs and values them both for accountability and internal learning purposes. These evaluations are typically concluded after a compact ends, though design and implementation of these types of evaluations sometimes starts as early as the compact development phase. MCC always tries to use the most rigorous method possible when conducting final evaluations. Thus, wherever possible, MCC conducts impact evaluations to measure the changes in individual, household or community income and well-being and rigorously attribute them to project interventions. Where a rigorous impact evaluation is not possible, MCC uses other quantitative methods to assess these medium- to long-term outcomes.