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United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

Report to Congressional Addressees: 

July 2010: 

Afghanistan Development: 

Enhancements to Performance Management and Evaluation Efforts Could 
Improve USAID's Agricultural Programs: 

GAO-10-368: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-10-368, a report to congressional addressees. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

Eighty percent of Afghans are dependent on agriculture for their 
livelihoods. Agricultural assistance is a key U.S. contribution to 
Afghanistan’s reconstruction efforts. Since 2002, the U.S. Agency for 
International Development (USAID) has awarded about $1.4 billion for 
agricultural programs to increase agricultural productivity, 
accelerate economic growth, and eliminate illicit drug cultivation. 

This report (1) describes the change in U.S. focus on agricultural 
assistance since 2002, (2) assesses USAID’s performance management and 
evaluation of its agricultural programs, (3) analyzes the extent to 
which certain programs met targets, and (4) addresses efforts to 
mitigate implementation challenges. GAO reviewed USAID documents; 
analyzed program data; and interviewed program implementers and USAID 
officials in Washington, D.C., and Afghanistan. GAO has prepared this 
report as part of its ongoing efforts to monitor key aspects of U.S. 
efforts in Afghanistan. 

What GAO Found: 

The United States’ focus in providing agricultural assistance to 
Afghanistan shifted from food security programs in 2002 to 
counternarcotics-related alternative-development programs in 2005. 
This focus on providing farmers with alternatives to growing opium 
poppy lasted through 2008. In 2009, the Administration shifted the 
focus of its agricultural strategy in Afghanistan from 
counternarcotics to counterinsurgency, noting that economic growth and 
new job creation were critical to U.S. efforts in Afghanistan because 
they provide alternatives to narcotics- and insurgent-related 
activities. 

USAID’s Automated Directives System established planning, monitoring, 
and evaluation procedures that USAID was expected to follow in 
Afghanistan. USAID planning efforts prior to 2009 largely follow these 
procedures. However, since the end of 2008, USAID has operated without 
a required Mission performance management plan for Afghanistan. In 
addition, USAID did not approve all implementing partner monitoring 
plans for the eight USAID agricultural programs, which represented 
about 75 percent of all USAID agricultural awards since 2002. USAID 
also did not assure all indicators had targets. USAID undertook 
efforts to monitor agricultural programs, but due to security concerns 
could not consistently verify reported data. USAID did not 
consistently analyze and interpret or document program performance for 
these eight programs, active between 2007 and 2009, on which our 
review focused. In the absence of this analysis, USAID did not 
document decisions linking program performance to changes made to the 
duration or funding of programs. USAID conducted one evaluation 
covering three of the eight programs, but the extent to which or 
whether USAID used the evaluation to enhance current or future 
programs is unclear. 

We found that the eight agricultural programs we reviewed did not 
always establish or achieve their targets for each performance 
indicator. USAID requires implementing partners to submit information 
on indicators, targets, and results. We measured performance for the 
eight programs by comparing annual results against annual targets and 
determining the extent to which targets were met. Six of the eight 
programs did not meet their performance targets in the most recent 
year for which targets were reported. For the two programs that met 
all their targets, we found they failed to establish targets for 
several indicators and, thus, we could not fully assess performance 
for those indicators. We also found that the three longest-running 
programs in our review showed declines in performance from fiscal 
years 2006 to 2008. 

USAID faces several challenges to implementing its agricultural 
programs in Afghanistan, such as the security environment, and has 
taken steps to mitigate other challenges, such as working to improve 
Afghan government capacity. However, while USAID’s lack of 
documentation and high staff turnover have hampered USAID’s ability to 
maintain institutional knowledge, the agency has not taken steps to 
address this challenge. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that the USAID Administrator take a number of steps to 
enhance performance planning, monitoring and evaluation, and knowledge 
transfer procedures. USAID agreed with our recommendations, 
highlighted ongoing efforts to improve in these areas, and noted the 
high-threat environment in which they are operating. 

View [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-368] or key 
components. To view the E-supplement online, click [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-756SP]. For more information, 
contact Charles Michael Johnson Jr., at (202) 512-7331 or 
johnsoncm@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Background: 

U.S. Agricultural Strategy Changing Focus to Support Counterinsurgency 
Priorities: 

Gaps Exist in USAID's Efforts to Plan, Monitor, and Evaluate 
Agricultural Programs in Afghanistan: 

Several Agricultural Programs Did Not Achieve or Establish Targets: 

USAID Faces Several Challenges in Implementing and Overseeing 
Agricultural Programs in Afghanistan: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendixes: 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Funding Breakout of USAID Agricultural Programs in 
Afghanistan, as of the End of Fiscal Year 2009: 

Appendix III: USAID Agricultural Program, by Province, and Examples of 
Activities: 

Appendix IV: GAO Analysis of Implementing Partner Performance Data: 

Appendix V: Eight USAID Agricultural Programs, Annual Targets, 
Results, and Percentage of Targets Met, for the Latest Year: 

Appendix VI: Comments from the U.S. Agency for International 
Development: 

Appendix VII: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Total USAID Assistance and Agricultural Program Disbursements 
in Afghanistan, Fiscal Years 2002-March 31, 2010: 

Table 2: USAID Data Quality Assessment for Mission Agricultural 
Indicators, November 2008: 

Table 3: USAID Monitoring Officials by Program, January 2005 to 
September 2009: 

Table 4: Funding Status for Eight USAID Agricultural Programs and 
Total USAID Programs in Afghanistan, as of March 31, 2010: 

Table 5: Alternative Development Program-Northeast, Annual Number of 
Indicators by Categories of Performance, FY2005 to 2008: 

Table 6: Alternative Development Program-South, Annual Number of 
Indicators by Categories of Performance, FY2005 to 2009: 

Table 7: Alternative Development Program-East, Annual Number of 
Indicators by Categories of Performance, FY2005 to 2009: 

Table 8: Accelerating Sustainable Agricultural Program, Annual Number 
of Indicators by Categories of Performance, FY2007 to 2009: 

Table 9: Alternative Development Program-Southwest, Annual Number of 
Indicators by Categories of Performance, FY2008 and 2009: 

Table 10: Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer, 
Annual Number of Indicators by Categories of Performance, FY2008 and 
2009: 

Table 11: Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in 
Agriculture, Annual Number of Indicators by Categories of Performance, 
FY2009: 

Table 12: Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives-North, East and 
West, Annual Number of Indicators by Categories of Performance, FY2009: 

Table 13: ADP-Northeast Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2008: 

Table 14: ADP-South Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2009: 

Table 15: ADP-East Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2008 and 
FY2009: 

Table 16: Accelerated Sustainable Agriculture Program Targets, 
Results, and Performance for FY2009: 

Table 17: ADP-Southwest Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2009: 

Table 18: Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer 
Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2009: 

Table 19: Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture 
programs Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2009: 

Table 20: Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives-North, East and 
West Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2009: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Irrigated and Rain-Fed Agricultural Lands in Afghanistan: 

Figure 2: USAID Agricultural Awards, Unliquidated Obligations, and 
Disbursements in Afghanistan, Fiscal Years 2002-March 31, 2010: 

Figure 3: Awards for Alternative-Development and Other Agricultural 
Programs, FY2002-March 31, 2010: 

Figure 4: Eight Agricultural Programs' Goals and Objectives: 

Figure 5: USAID's Required Performance Management and Evaluation 
Procedures: 

Figure 6: Agricultural Programs in Afghanistan, Implementing Partner 
Indicators with Targets, FY 2005 to 2009: 

Figure 7: Agricultural Program Site Reports, Calendar Years 2005 to 
2009: 

Figure 8: Agricultural Programs in Afghanistan, Annual Performance, 
Fiscal Years 2005 to 2009: 

Figure 9: Average Daily Reported Enemy-Initiated Attacks in 
Afghanistan, January 2005-May 2010: 

Figure 10: USAID Agricultural Programs, by Province, and Examples of 
Activities: 

Abbreviations: 

ADP: alternative-development programs: 

FY: fiscal year: 

GPRA: Government Performance and Results Act: 

Mission: USAID Mission to Afghanistan: 

OFDA: Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance: 

OTI: Office of Transition Initiatives: 

PMP: performance management plan: 

USAID: U.S. Agency for International Development: 

Afghanistan Development: Poverty and Major Crop Production (GAO-10- 
756SP), an E-supplement to GAO-10-368: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, D.C. 20548: 

July 14, 2010: 

Congressional Addressees: 

An estimated 80 percent of Afghanistan's citizens depend on 
agriculture and related agribusiness for their livelihoods. However, 
the country's agricultural sector has been hampered by decades of 
conflict; degradation of land and infrastructure, including poor 
irrigation systems; and lack of reliable sources of power and quality 
inputs, such as improved seed and fertilizer. The United States 
considers agricultural assistance a key contribution to Afghanistan's 
reconstruction and stabilization. Moreover, promoting sustainable 
development is a priority of the Afghanistan National Development 
Strategy and other donor countries. Since 2002, the U.S. Agency for 
International Development (USAID) has awarded about $1.4 billion 
toward agricultural programs to increase agricultural productivity, 
accelerate economic growth, and eliminate illicit drug cultivation. 
The USAID Mission to Afghanistan (Mission) relies on implementing 
partners to carry out its agricultural programs.[Footnote 1] 

This review assesses (1) how the United States has changed the focus 
of its agricultural efforts in Afghanistan since 2002, (2) USAID's 
performance management and evaluation efforts of agricultural programs 
in Afghanistan, (3) the extent to which USAID's agricultural programs 
in Afghanistan met targets, and (4) USAID's efforts to mitigate 
challenges in implementing these programs in Afghanistan. 

To address these objectives, we reviewed USAID and other U.S. 
government planning, funding, and reporting documents related to U.S. 
agricultural programs in Afghanistan. We discussed these programs with 
officials from USAID and the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and 
State, including the Office of the Special Representative for 
Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as with private contractors and 
other implementing partners working on U.S.-funded agricultural 
programs in Washington, D.C., and Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, we also 
met with officials from the United Nations and the governments of 
Afghanistan and the United Kingdom to discuss agricultural-related 
efforts. We traveled to the provinces of Badakhshan and Farah in 2009 
to meet with U.S. and Afghan officials, implementing partners, and aid 
recipients to discuss several U.S.-funded projects. We analyzed 
program budget data provided by USAID to report on program funding, as 
well as changes in USAID's program monitoring officials over time. We 
analyzed program data provided by USAID and its implementing partners 
to track performance against targets over time. We took steps to 
assess the reliability of the budget, performance, and attack data and 
determined they were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this 
report. We focused our analysis on the eight USAID agricultural 
programs that were active between 2007 and 2009 and had total awards 
greater than $15 million. These programs represent about 75 percent of 
all USAID agricultural awards since 2002. We did not address 
agriculture-related projects carried out independently by other U.S. 
government agencies, such the Department of Defense's Commander's 
Emergency Response Program, or those carried out by multilateral 
institutions to which the United States contributes, such as the 
United Nations Development Programme. 

We conducted this performance audit from March 2009 through July 2010 
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe 
that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. More detailed 
information on our scope and methodologies, as well as data 
reliability assessments, can be found in appendix I. 

Background: 

Afghanistan is one of the world's poorest countries and ranks near the 
bottom of virtually every development indicator category, including 
life expectancy; literacy; nutrition; and infant, child, and maternal 
mortality. According to the most recent National Risk and 
Vulnerability Assessment conducted by the government of Afghanistan 
between 2007 and 2008, the Afghan poverty rate was 36 
percent.[Footnote 2] The highest rates of poverty were among nomads 
and rural farmers and varied across regions and provinces. (For 
additional information on regional poverty in Afghanistan see GAO-10-
756SP.) The survey also found that agricultural activities provided 
the Afghan population's primary livelihood; 55 percent of households 
were engaged in farming and 68 percent had livestock. According to the 
World Bank, the agricultural sector accounts for 30 percent of 
Afghanistan's gross domestic product. The National Risk and 
Vulnerability Assessment states that agricultural productivity is 
hampered by water shortage, lack of credit, insufficient outreach of 
agricultural and veterinary extension services, and poor access to 
markets. 

Afghanistan suffers from limited means to capture water resources, 
soil degradation, overgrazing, deforestation, and desertification. As 
shown in figure 1, Afghanistan is mountainous and much of its land is 
not arable. According to the National Risk and Vulnerability 
Assessment, household access to arable land increased between 2005 and 
2007/2008, largely due to increasing access to irrigated land across 
urban, rural, and nomadic households. Additionally, in 2007/2008, 40 
percent of households nationwide had access to irrigated land and 17 
percent had access to rain-fed land. Farms in Afghanistan averaged 1.4 
hectares for irrigated land and 2.8 hectares for rain-fed land. 
[Footnote 3] The survey also found that wheat was the most frequently 
cited crop produced on irrigated and rain-fed land during the summer 
planting season, followed by opium and potatoes on irrigated land and 
cotton and barley on rain-fed land; corn, sorghum,[Footnote 4] and 
rice were grown on irrigated land during the winter planting season. 
Some households also grew fruit and nut trees and grapes. (For 
additional information on major crops grown in Afghanistan see GAO-10-
756SP.) 

Figure 1: Irrigated and Rain-Fed Agricultural Lands in Afghanistan: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustration and 2 photographs] 

The illustrations contains a map of Afghanistan depicting the 
following: 
Rain-fed agriculture; 
Irrigated agriculture; 
Rivers; 
Province borders. 

Additionally, the following information is depicted: 

Accelerating Sustainable Agriculture Program: A worker waters the wild 
pistachio seedlings planted in Balkh province. Over a 3-month period, 
the implementing partner oversaw the planting of a total of 206,000 
wild pistachio seedlings in a cash-for-work project. The seedlings 
will help to reforest the countryside. In addition to planting 
seedlings, the implementing partner’s cash-for-work projects also 
included cleaning streams and canals to improve irrigation. 

Afghanistan Water, Agriculture,and Technology Transfer: Local Afghan 
farmers plant crops at the Badam Bagh Research and Demonstration Farm 
in Kabul, Afghanistan. In coordination with the Accelerating 
Sustainable Agriculture Program, the implementing partner demonstrated 
techniques to improve water efficiency, collaborated with researchers 
from Afghan universities to collect data on water needs, irrigation 
methods, and soil fertility, and trained Afghan Ministry officials and 
others for disseminating information and lessons learned throughout 
the country. 

Sources: GAO analysis of USAID data; United States Geological Survey, 
and Map Resources (map). 

[End of figure] 

USAID Funds Agricultural Programs in Afghanistan: 

As figure 2 shows, between fiscal years 2002 and March 31, 2010, USAID 
awarded about $1.4 billion to 41 agricultural-assistance programs in 
Afghanistan, with almost two-thirds of the amount (about $900 million) 
disbursed. 

Figure 2: USAID Agricultural Awards, Unliquidated Obligations, and 
Disbursements in Afghanistan, Fiscal Years 2002-March 31, 2010: 

[Refer to PDF for image: horizontal bar graph] 

Awards: $1.41 billion; 
Unliquidated obligations: $103 million; 
Disbursements: $903 million. 

Source: GAO analysis of USAID Pipeline Report data. 

Note: Award amounts are subject to the availability of funds. 

[End of figure] 

As table 1 shows, disbursements of U.S. funds for agricultural 
programs represented 14 percent of all USAID assistance programs in 
Afghanistan from fiscal years 2002-March 31, 2010. Moreover, the 
percentage of USAID's total assistance to Afghanistan disbursed to 
agricultural programs has increased from 6 percent in fiscal years 
2002-2004 to 17 percent in fiscal years 2008 and 2009. Appendix II has 
more funding information on USAID's agricultural programs, including 
the eight agricultural programs in our review. 

Table 1: Total USAID Assistance and Agricultural Program Disbursements 
in Afghanistan, Fiscal Years 2002-March 31, 2010: 

Dollars in millions: 

Total USAID assistance disbursements: 
FY02-04: $645; 
FY05: $601; 
FY06: $1,186; 
FY07: $772; 
FY08: $934; 
FY09: $1,434; 
FY10 (Oct. 1, 2009 - March 31, 2010): $703; 
Total Cumulative: FY02-March 31, 2010: $6,275. 

Total USAID agricultural disbursements: 
FY02-04: $37; 
FY05: $63; 
FY06: $159; 
FY07: $126; 
FY08: $158; 
FY09: 246; 
FY10 (Oct. 1, 2009 - March 31, 2010): $115; 
Total Cumulative: FY02-March 31, 2010: $903. 

Agricultural programs as percentage of total USAID assistance 
disbursements: 
FY02-04: 6%; 
FY05: 10%; 
FY06: 13%; 
FY07: 16%; 
FY08: 17%; 
FY09: 17%; 
FY10 (Oct. 1, 2009 - March 31, 2010): 16%; 
Total Cumulative: FY02-March 31, 2010: 14%. 

Source: GAO analysis of USAID data. 

Note: Numbers may not sum to totals because of rounding. USAID adopted 
Phoenix, a new financial management system, in 2005. USAID was unable 
to provide separate annual disbursement information for fiscal years 
2002-2004, so we present cumulative disbursements for those years. 

[End of table] 

The administration requested $827 million dollars in fiscal year 2010 
for USAID agricultural-assistance programs.[Footnote 5] 

U.S. Agricultural Strategy Changing Focus to Support Counterinsurgency 
Priorities: 

In fiscal years 2002-2003, to help address the complex humanitarian 
crisis in Afghanistan, the U.S. government provided emergency 
assistance that helped avert a famine, significantly reduced the 
suffering of the most vulnerable Afghans, and assisted the return of 
refugees.[Footnote 6] USAID provided Afghanistan with 355,270 metric 
tons of wheat and other emergency food assistance (valued at $206.4 
million), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided 79,600 
metric tons of surplus wheat (valued at $38.7 million). Over the 2-
year period, the United States provided over 60 percent of all 
international food assistance received by Afghanistan. According to 
the World Food Program, the food assistance provided by the United 
States and the international community helped avert famine in 
Afghanistan. 

As we previously reported, from 2002 through 2004, increased opium 
poppy cultivation spread and drug trafficking grew as a threat to 
Afghanistan's security and stability.[Footnote 7] During that time, 
the United States supported Afghan-and United Kingdom-led 
counternarcotics efforts. These efforts reportedly had little effect 
on the illicit narcotics industry because of limited security and 
stability across Afghanistan. In response, the U.S. government made 
counternarcotics a top U.S. priority and developed a strategy in 2004 
to reduce poppy cultivation, drug production, and trafficking, 
shifting the emphasis of the United States' agricultural assistance 
programs in Afghanistan from food security programs to 
counternarcotics-related ADP. This part of the U.S. counternarcotics 
strategy was intended to offer incentives to stop opium poppy 
production by helping farmers and farm laborers obtain other ways to 
earn a living. The strategy also called for strong disincentives such 
as forced eradication, interdiction, and law enforcement, while at the 
same time spreading the Afghan government's antinarcotics message. The 
United States' efforts also were expected to build the Afghan 
government's capacity to conduct counternarcotics efforts on its own. 
As part of its counternarcotics efforts, beginning in 2005, USAID 
awarded most of its new agricultural funds to alternative-development 
programs (ADP)--to (1) increase agricultural productivity, (2) 
accelerate economic growth, and (3) eliminate illicit drug 
cultivation. As figure 3 shows, between 2005 and 2008, $494 million, 
or 71 percent of new awards were for ADP.[Footnote 8] 

Figure 3: Awards for Alternative-Development and Other Agricultural 
Programs, FY2002-March 31, 2010: 

[Refer to PDF for image: stacked vertical bar graph] 

Fiscal year: 2002-2004; 
ADP agricultural programs: 0; 
Non-ADP agricultural programs: $187 million; 
Total: $187 million. 

Fiscal year: 2005-2008; 
ADP agricultural programs: $494 million; 
Non-ADP agricultural programs: $200 million; 
Total: $694 million. 

Fiscal year: 2009-March 3, 2010; 
ADP agricultural programs: $170 million; 
Non-ADP agricultural programs: $360 million; 
Total: $530 million. 

Source: GAO analysis of USAID documentation. 

[End of figure] 

During this time period, USAID funded ADP, as well as other large 
agricultural programs.[Footnote 9] Figure 4 provides a brief 
description of the goals and objectives of the eight programs included 
in this review including, beginning in 2005, ADP-Northeast, ADP-South, 
and ADP-East; beginning in 2006, the Accelerating Sustainable 
Agriculture Program; beginning in 2008, ADP-Southwest, the Afghanistan 
Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer program, and the 
Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture program; 
and beginning in 2009, the Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives- 
North, East and West, as a follow-on program to ADP-East. USAID 
identified six of the eight programs as ADP, excluding the 
Accelerating Sustainable Agriculture Program and the Afghanistan 
Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture. Appendix III 
specifies the provinces where the eight agricultural programs included 
in our review operated and gives examples of the range of projects 
that these programs implemented. 

Figure 4: Eight Agricultural Programs' Goals and Objectives: 

[Refer to PDF for image: table] 

USAID Strategic Objective: A thriving licit economy led by the private 
sector: 

Year: 2005-2009; 
Program name: ADP-Northeast; 
Awards: 60; 
Goals: Accelerate regional economic development and provide Afghans 
new opportunities in the licit economy; 
Objectives: 
* Accelerate licit economic growth and business activity in selected 
poppy-thriving provinces; 
* Provide immediate, alternative sources of income to poor households. 

Year: 2005-2009; 
Program name: ADP-South; 
Awards: 165; 
Goals: Accelerate regional economic development and provide Afghans 
new opportunities in the licit economy; 
Objectives: 
* Accelerate licit economic growth and business activity in selected 
poppy-thriving provinces; 
* Provide immediate, alternative sources of income to poor households. 

Year: 2005-2009; 
Program name: ADP-East; 
Awards: 118; 
Goals: Accelerate regional economic development and provide Afghans 
new opportunities in the licit economy; 
Objectives: 
* Accelerate licit economic growth and business activity in selected 
poppy-thriving provinces; 
* Provide immediate, alternative sources of income to poor households. 

Year: 2006-2010; 
Program name: Accelerating Sustainable Agriculture Program; 
Awards: 102; 
Goals: Accelerate market-led agriculture development and provide new 
economic opportunities for rural Afghans; 
Objectives: 
* Accelerate sales of high-value commodities; 
* Improve the capacity of the Afghan government and agricultural 
ministries to formulate agricultural sector policies and strategies. 

Year: 2008-2010; 
Program name: ADP-Southwest; 
Awards: 75; 
Goals: Counteract illicit poppy cultivation though regional economic 
growth and provide Afghans new opportunities in the licit economy; 
Objectives: 
* Rebuild and expand economies and social infrastructure to increase 
commercial activity and provide immediate income to poor households. 

Year: 2008-2011; 
Program name: Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer; 
Awards: 20; 
Goals: Increase Afghans’ access to information and technology and 
provide tools to enhance the management of water resources; 
Objectives: 
* Develop and promote land and water resource management policies; 
* Identify and apply technologies to increase agricultural production 
in vulnerable areas; 
* Strengthen linkages in private sector, public sector, and 
international institutions’ research on water management. 

Year: 2008-2010; 
Program name: Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in 
Agriculture; 
Awards: 360; 
Goals: Promote and support the local production of basic food crops 
and strengthen links between the Afghan government and its people; 
Objectives: 
* Increase access to high-quality agricultural inputs to improve 
yields and food availability; 
* Enhance rural family farm production and productivity through cash-
for-work projects and grants. 

Year: 2009-2014; 
Program name: Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives-North, East, 
and West; 
Awards: 150; 
Goals: Increase access to licit commercially viable alternative 
sources of income in rural Afghanistan; 
Objectives: 
* Improve economic opportunities in rural areas and reduce dependency 
on illicit opium production; 
* Strengthen Afghan leadership. 

Source: GAO analysis of USAID documentation. 

Note: We did not assess the quality or appropriateness of these goals 
and objectives as part of this report. These eight programs represent 
only a portion of USAID's agricultural programs and, consequently, 
award amounts do not add to aggregate amounts presented in earlier 
figures and tables. 

[End of figure] 

In 2009, under the direction of the President and the Special 
Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the United States shifted 
the focus of its agricultural strategy in Afghanistan from 
counternarcotics to counterinsurgency efforts. This shift de- 
emphasized eradication. According to the Special Representative for 
Afghanistan and Pakistan, eradication unduly punished and alienated 
farmers for making a "rational economic decision," while ignoring the 
profits gleaned by traffickers and insurgents from the sale of 
processed opium and heroin. Further, the Administration noted that 
economic growth and new job creation were critical to U.S. 
counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan because they provide licit 
alternatives to narcotics-and insurgent-related activities and connect 
people to their government. As a result, the Administration integrated 
agricultural programs with other U.S. efforts, including military 
operations, and directed more resources to the agricultural sector. 
For example, the Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in 
Agriculture program, which originally operated outside of the 
southeastern portion of Afghanistan, was expanded to Helmand and 
Kandahar in 2010, where according to Department of Defense officials, 
the United States and Afghanistan have begun military operations to 
break the momentum of the insurgency. Furthermore, the Administration 
increased the involvement of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and 
aligned U.S. efforts with the current agricultural priorities of the 
Afghan government, as laid out in the Ministry of Agriculture, 
Irrigation, and Livestock's National Agriculture Development 
Framework. The strategy focuses on the following four areas: 

1. increasing agricultural productivity by increasing farmers' access 
to quality inputs, such as improved seeds and fertilizer, and 
effective extension services; 

2. regenerating agribusiness by increasing linkages between farmers, 
markets, credit, and trade corridors; 

3. rehabilitating watersheds and improving irrigation structure; and: 

4. increasing the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock's 
capacity to deliver services and promote the private sector and farmer 
associations through direct budget and technical assistance. 

Gaps Exist in USAID's Efforts to Plan, Monitor, and Evaluate 
Agricultural Programs in Afghanistan: 

USAID's Automated Directives System establishes performance management 
and evaluation procedures that USAID expects its staff to follow in 
planning, monitoring, and evaluating its agricultural assistance 
programs in Afghanistan.[Footnote 10] USAID operationalized these 
procedures through the development of a Mission Performance Management 
Plan (PMP). Similarly, USAID requires its implementing partners to 
develop monitoring and evaluation plans, which are generally included 
in implementing partners' program PMPs. The collection of planning, 
monitoring, and evaluating efforts, when taken together, enable USAID 
to manage the performance of its programs. While USAID has noted that 
Afghanistan is an insecure environment in which to implement its 
programs, the agency has generally required the same performance 
management and evaluation procedures as it does in other countries in 
which it operates. In October 2008, USAID approved new guidance that 
outlined several alternative monitoring methods--especially when site 
visits are difficult or not possible--in high threat environments such 
as Afghanistan. This guidance, however, was not disseminated to USAID 
staff until December 2009, and the USAID Mission to Afghanistan 
agricultural staff did not become aware of the guidance until June 
2010. This guidance was included in GAO's review where applicable. 
Figure 5 presents a summary of USAID's Automated Directives System's 
performance management and evaluation procedures it expects its staff 
to follow, grouped into planning, monitoring, and evaluating 
categories. 

Figure 5: USAID's Required Performance Management and Evaluation 
Procedures: 

[Refer to PDF for image: table] 

Planning: 
* Define goals and objectives; 
* Identify performance indicators to meet goals and objectives; 
* Establish baselines and targets for performance indicators; 
* Define the frequency of data collection and reporting; 
* Describe the means to be used to verify and validate information 
collected; 
* Plan for data quality assessments; 
* Determine how data will be used for decision making on improving 
performance, on allocating resources, and on communicating USAID’s 
story; 
* Plan for evaluations and special studies. 

Monitoring: 
* Collect performance data; 
* Assess data quality, identify limitations, make efforts to mitigate 
limitations; 
* Analyze data; 
* Interpret data and make necessary program or project adjustments; 
* Use data to guide higher-level decision making and resource 
allocation; 
* Report results to advance organizational learning and demonstrate 
USAID’s contribution to overall U.S. government foreign assistance 
goals. 

Evaluating: 
* Perform at least one evaluation for high-level objectives during the 
life of the objective to understand progress, or lack thereof, and 
determine possible steps to improve performance; 
* Disseminate findings; 
* Use findings to further institutional learning, inform current 
programs, and shape future planning. 

Source: GAO analysis of USAID’s Automated Directive System’s 
performance management and evaluation activities. 

[End of figure] 

USAID's Planning for Agricultural Programs in Afghanistan Generally 
Included Key Activities, but Lacks a Current Mission Performance 
Management Plan: 

USAID's Automated Directives System requires USAID officials to 
complete a Mission PMP for each of its high-level objectives as a tool 
to manage its performance management and evaluation procedures. In 
line with this requirement, USAID's Mission to Afghanistan developed 
its first PMP in 2006; the document covered the years 2006, 2007, and 
2008. The Mission operated without a PMP to guide its efforts after 
2008. According to USAID, the Mission is in the process of developing 
a new missionwide PMP that will reflect the current Administration's 
priorities and strategic shift to counterinsurgency. USAID expects the 
new PMP to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2010. The Mission 
attributed the delay in creating the new PMP to the process of 
developing new strategies in different sectors and gaining approval 
from the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan and from agency headquarters in 
Washington. 

Overall, the 2006-2008 Mission PMP incorporated key planning 
activities. For example, the PMP identified indicators, established 
baselines and targets, planned for data quality assessments, and 
described the frequency of data collection for four high-level 
objectives for all USAID programs in Afghanistan, including its 
agricultural programs.[Footnote 11] The eight agricultural programs we 
reviewed all fell under one of these four high-level objectives 
identified in the Mission PMP--"developing a thriving licit economy 
led by the private sector." In addition, the PMP described regular 
site visits, random data checks, and data quality assessments as the 
means to be used to verify and validate information collected. 
Furthermore, the Mission PMP noted that the PMP was developed to 
enable staff to actively and systematically assess their contributions 
to the Mission's program results and take corrective action when 
necessary. It noted that indicators, when analyzed in combination with 
other information, provide data for program decision making. The 
Mission PMP did not include plans for evaluations and special studies 
for the high-level objective that the eight programs included in this 
review supported; but according to USAID, the agency has planned 
evaluations for seven of the eight agricultural programs included in 
this review during fiscal year 2010.[Footnote 12] In addition, USAID 
has planned to conduct evaluations of agricultural depots and 
veterinarian field units, activities included in several agricultural 
programs. 

Similar to the Automated Directives System's requirement that USAID 
develop a Mission PMP as a planning tool to manage the process of 
monitoring and evaluating progress--including establishing targets for 
each performance indicator--implementing partners are required to 
develop and submit monitoring and evaluation plans to USAID for 
approval.[Footnote 13] To keep its performance-management system cost- 
effective, reduce its burden, and ensure implementing partner 
activities and USAID plans are well-aligned, USAID requires its 
implementing partners to integrate performance-data collection in 
their performance-management activities and work plans. In fulfilling 
this requirement, the implementing partners submitted monitoring and 
evaluation plans for the eight programs included in our review to 
USAID for approval. The implementing partners' plans, among other 
things, generally contained goals and objectives, indicators, and 
targets. However, we found that USAID had not always approved these 
plans and did not require implementing partners to set targets for 
each of their indicators, which are needed to assess program 
performance.[Footnote 14] Figure 6 shows the number of performance 
indicators by fiscal year with targets that the implementing partner 
developed and submitted to USAID for approval. The number of 
indicators with targets varied over time. 

Figure 6: Agricultural Programs in Afghanistan, Implementing Partner 
Indicators with Targets, FY 2005 to 2009: 

[Refer to PDF for image: table] 

N/T: Number of indicators with annual target/Total number of 
indicators. 

Program: ADP-Northeast
Number of indicators with targets (by fiscal year): 
2005: Program operating with no established indicators; 
2006: 15/15; 
2007: 15/15; 
2008: 14/14; 
2009: NA. 

Program: ADP-South; 
Number of indicators with targets (by fiscal year): 
2005: 0/37; 
2006: 14/14; 
2007: 14/14; 
2008: 14/25[A]; 
2009: 5/25. 

Program: ADP-East; 
Number of indicators with targets (by fiscal year): 
2005: 15/18; 
2006: 14/14; 
2007: 13/14; 
2008: 13/14; 
2009: 0/14. 

Program: Accelerating Sustainable Agriculture Program; 
Number of indicators with targets (by fiscal year): 
2005: Program not operational; 
2006: Program not operational; 
2007: 2/13; 
2008: 8/13; 
2009: 6/6. 

Program: ADP-Southwest; 
Number of indicators with targets (by fiscal year): 
2005: Program not operational; 
2006: Program not operational; 
2007: Program not operational; 
2008: 21/21; 
2009: 21/21. 

Program: Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer; 
Number of indicators with targets (by fiscal year): 
2005: Program not operational; 
2006: Program not operational; 
2007: Program not operational; 
2008: Program operating with no established indicators; 
2009: 3/5. 

Program: Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture; 
Number of indicators with targets (by fiscal year): 
2005: Program not operational; 
2006: Program not operational; 
2007: Program not operational; 
2008: Program not operational; 
2009: 2/10. 

Program: Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives-North, East, and 
West; 
Number of indicators with targets (by fiscal year): 
2005: Program not operational; 
2006: Program not operational; 
2007: Program not operational; 
2008: Program not operational; 
2009: 16/17. 

Source: GAO analysis of USAID documentation. 

[A] In 2008, ADP-South identified 11 additional indicators, after they 
received an additional $45 million. 

[End of figure] 

The three programs we reviewed that were active in 2005, identified 
indicators and, in some cases, targets in their monitoring and 
evaluation plans to track progress; however, according to implementing 
partners, USAID did not approve these plans in 2005. Implementing 
partners for the eight programs we reviewed were contractually 
required to submit monitoring and evaluation plans. According to 
implementing partners, USAID was developing a common set of indicators 
for all three programs to track. In 2006, all three programs were 
requested to revise their monitoring and evaluation plans and develop 
PMPs that included a common set of performance indicators. All three 
programs submitted revised plans in their 2006 PMPs, however, USAID 
subsequently approved only two out of the three program PMPs.[Footnote 
15] ADP-South's PMP was never formally approved during the life of the 
program. USAID officials were unable to explain or provide reasons for 
the lack of approval. In addition, while ADP-South and ADP-East were 
intended to end early in fiscal year 2009, when their contracts were 
extended into fiscal year 2009, these programs were not required to 
set targets for all of their indicators during the additional time 
frame. The USAID officials we spoke with were uncertain as to why 
their predecessors did not require this of the implementing partners. 
In addition, several of the other programs, such as the Afghanistan 
Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer and the Afghanistan 
Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture programs did not 
establish targets for all of their indicators. As a result, in fiscal 
year 2009, out of the seven active agricultural programs we reviewed, 
two had set targets for all of their indicators. 

USAID Undertook Efforts to Monitor Agricultural Programs, but Did Not 
Fully Analyze and Interpret Performance Data: 

According to USAID's Automated Directives System, monitoring efforts 
should include, among other things, collecting performance data, 
assessing data quality, identifying limitations, and taking steps to 
mitigate data limitations. USAID regularly collected program reports 
[Footnote 16] containing performance data from implementing partners 
for the eight programs we reviewed and assessed data quality, as well 
as mitigated data limitations, by conducting site visits when 
feasible, regularly communicating with implementing partners, and 
completing a data quality assessment for performance data. USAID 
assigned a monitoring official--known as an agreement or contracting 
officer's technical representative--to oversee implementing partners' 
activities for each of the eight agricultural programs we reviewed. 
Monitoring officials identified quarterly reports submitted by 
implementing partners as key documents used to collect performance 
data.[Footnote 17] To assess data quality and make efforts to mitigate 
data limitations, USAID conducted site visits and documented these 
efforts by completing monitoring reports, progress reports, and trip 
reports. According to USAID, Afghanistan's insecure environment 
limited the frequency of some site visits and monitoring officials' 
ability to consistently verify reported data. As such, the frequency 
of site visits varied within and across programs. Moreover, also 
according to USAID, formal site visit reports are seldom completed. As 
a result of time constraints, documentation of site visits is often 
limited to photographic documentation combined with informal emails 
from staff participating in site visits. In 2009, USAID conducted site 
visits for two of the eight programs included in our review.[Footnote 
18] 

Figure 7: Agricultural Program Site Reports, Calendar Years 2005 to 
2009: 

[Refer to PDF for image: table] 

Program: ADP-Northeast; 
2005: USAID site reports; 
2006: USAID site reports; 
2007: USAID site reports; 
2008: USAID site reports; 
2009: No USAID site reports. 

Program: ADP-South; 
2005: No USAID site reports; 
2006: USAID site reports; 
2007: No USAID site reports; 
2008: USAID site reports; 
2009: USAID site reports. 

Program: ADP-East; 
2005: USAID site reports; 
2006: USAID site reports; 
2007: USAID site reports; 
2008: No USAID site reports; 
2009: No USAID site reports. 

Program: Accelerating Sustainable Agriculture Program; 
2005: Program not operational; 
2006: No USAID site reports; 
2007: USAID site reports; 
2008: USAID site reports; 
2009: No USAID site reports. 

Program: ADP-Southwest; 
2005: Program not operational; 
2006: Program not operational; 
2007: Program not operational; 
2008: USAID site reports; 
2009: No USAID site reports. 

Program: Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer; 
2005: Program not operational; 
2006: Program not operational; 
2007: Program not operational; 
2008: No USAID site reports; 
2009: No USAID site reports. 

Program: Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture; 
2005: Program not operational; 
2006: Program not operational; 
2007: Program not operational; 
2008: No USAID site reports; 
2009: No USAID site reports. 

Program: Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives-North, East, and 
West; 
2005: Program not operational; 
2006: Program not operational; 
2007: Program not operational; 
2008: Program not operational; 
2009: USAID site reports. 

Source: GAO analysis of USAID documentation. 

[End of figure] 

In 2008 and 2009, the USAID Mission director cited USAID's efforts to 
monitor project implementation in Afghanistan as a significant 
deficiency, in the Mission's Federal Management Financial Integrity 
Act of 1982 Annual Certification. These assessments raised concerns 
that designated USAID staff are "prevented from monitoring project 
implementation in an adequate manner with the frequency required" and 
noted that there is a high degree of potential for fraud, waste, and 
mismanagement of Mission resources. USAID further noted that the 
deficiency in USAID's efforts to monitor projects will remain 
unresolved until the security situation in Afghanistan improves and 
stabilizes. 

USAID identified several actions to address the limitations to 
monitoring project implementation, these include: 

* placement of more staff in the field to improve monitoring capacity, 

* use of hired security services to provide protection to Mission 
staff traveling to project sites, 

* use of provincial reconstruction team staff to obtain information on 
the progress of USAID-funded activities where the provincial 
reconstruction teams operate, 

* use of more Afghan staff, who have greater mobility than expatriate 
staff, to monitor projects, 

* hiring of a contractor to monitor the implementation of construction 
projects and conduct regular site visits, 

* use of Google Earth geospatial mapping to substitute for site visits, 

* frequent and regular communication with implementing partners, 

* collection of implementing partner videos or photographs--including 
aerial photographs, 

* spot checks of implementing partner records or files, and: 

* feedback from Afghan ministries and local officials.[Footnote 19] 

USAID Conducted Data Quality Assessments: 

USAID performance management procedures require that Mission 
performance data reported to Washington for Government Performance and 
Results Act (GPRA) reporting purposes or for reporting externally on 
Agency performance must have had a data quality assessment at some 
time within the 3 years before submission. USAID established 10 
Mission agricultural indicators that it reports to the joint 
Department of State-USAID's Foreign Assistance Coordination and 
Tracking System.[Footnote 20] As required, USAID completed a data 
quality assessment for all 10 Mission agricultural indicators in 
November 2008. As table 3 shows, USAID's data quality assessments 
generally provided high, medium, or low rankings of quality for the 
data collected. 

Table 2: USAID Data Quality Assessment for Mission Agricultural 
Indicators, November 2008: 

Indicator: 
1. Number of additional hectares under improved technologies or 
management practices as a result of U.S. government assistance; 
Overall data quality: Medium. 

Indicator: 
2. Number of public-private partnerships formed as a result of U.S. 
assistance; 
Overall data quality: High. 

Indicator: 
3. Number of individuals who have received U.S.-supported short-term 
agricultural sector productivity training (males/females); 
Overall data quality: Medium to high. 

Indicator: 
4. Number of women's organizations/associations assisted as a result 
of U.S. supported interventions; 
Overall data quality: Relatively high. 

Indicator: 
5. Hectares of alternative crops targeted by U.S. programs under 
cultivation; 
Overall data quality: Medium to low. 

Indicator: 
6. Number of families benefiting from alternative development or 
alternative-livelihood activities in U.S. government-assisted areas; 
Overall data quality: Low. 

Indicator: 
7. Increased sales of licit farm and nonfarm products in U.S. 
government-assisted areas over previous year; 
Overall data quality: Low. 

Indicator: 
8. Number of full-time equivalent jobs created by U.S.-sponsored 
alternative-development or alternative-livelihood activities; 
Overall data quality: High for cash for work[A]. 

Indicator: 
9. Number of people U.S. supported in training in natural resources 
management and/or biodiversity conservation (males/females); 
Overall data quality: Relatively high. 

Indicator: 
10. Number of hectares under improved natural resource management as a 
result of United States assistance; 
Overall data quality: Medium. 

Source: USAID data. 

[A] Overall data quality for number of full-time equivalent jobs 
created by U.S.-sponsored alternative-development or alternative- 
livelihood activities was assessed in terms of cash for work efforts. 

[End of table] 

USAID's assessments also identified actions to mitigate weaknesses in 
data quality. 

Suggestions for improving data quality included clarifying definitions 
and qualifying activities, increasing the frequency of direct 
monitoring, and increasing the effort to understand the impact of 
activities. 

USAID Did Not Consistently Analyze and Interpret Performance Data: 

In addition to collecting performance data and assessing the data's 
quality, USAID's Automated Directives System also includes the 
monitoring activities of analyzing and interpreting performance data 
in order to make program adjustments, inform higher-level decision 
making and resource allocation. We found that while USAID collects 
implementing partner performance data, or information on targets and 
results, the agency did not fully analyze and interpret this 
performance data for the eight programs in our review. Some USAID 
officials in Afghanistan told us that they reviewed the information 
reported in implementing partners' quarterly reports in efforts to 
analyze and interpret a program's performance for the eight programs 
in our review, although they could not provide any documentation of 
their efforts to analyze and interpret program performance. Some USAID 
officials also said that they did not have the time to fully review 
the reports. As a result, it is unclear the extent to which USAID uses 
performance data to make program adjustments, inform higher-level 
decision making and resource allocation. 

As previously noted, efforts to monitor program performance as 
outlined in USAID's Automated Directives System should include and 
document decisions on how performance data will be used to guide 
higher-level decision making and resource allocation. Additionally, 
USAID is required to report results to advance organizational learning 
and demonstrate USAID's contribution to overall U.S. government 
foreign assistance goals. While USAID did not fully analyze and 
interpret program data, the Mission does meet semiannually to examine 
and document strategic issues and determine whether the results of 
USAID-supported agricultural activities are contributing to progress 
toward high-level objectives. With respect to reporting of results, 
the Mission reported aggregate results in the Foreign Assistance 
Coordination and Tracking System--discussed earlier. 

Limited Evaluations Completed for Agricultural Programs GAO Reviewed: 

USAID's Automated Directives System requires USAID to undertake at 
least one evaluation for each of its high-level objectives; to 
disseminate the findings of evaluations; and to use evaluation 
findings to further institutional learning, inform current programs, 
and shape future planning. As noted earlier, each of the eight 
agricultural programs included in this review support the high-level 
objective of "developing a thriving licit economy led by the private 
sector." In May 2007, USAID initiated an evaluation covering three of 
the eight agricultural programs included in our review--ADP-Northeast, 
ADP-East, and ADP-South. This evaluation was intended to assess the 
progress of the alternative-development initiatives toward achieving 
program objectives and offer recommendations for the coming years. The 
evaluators found insufficient data to evaluate whether the programs 
were meeting objectives and targets and, thus, shifted their 
methodology to a qualitative review based on interviews and 
discussions with key individuals. As required under USAID's evaluation 
requirements, USAID posted the evaluation to its Web site for 
dissemination.[Footnote 21] In addition, as noted earlier, USAID is 
planning to conduct evaluations in fiscal year 2010 for all but one of 
the agricultural programs included in this review. 

We are uncertain of the extent to which USAID used the 2007 evaluation 
to adapt current programs and plan future programs. Few staff were 
able to discuss the evaluation's findings and recommendations and most 
noted that they were not present when the evaluation of the three ADP 
programs was completed and, therefore, were not aware of the extent to 
which changes were made to the programs. With regard to using lessons 
learned to plan future programs, USAID officials told us that, in 
planning for the Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in 
Agriculture program, key donors met with USAID staff and the Afghan 
government to share ideas and lessons learned from other programs. 
However, the officials could not provide documentation of this 
discussion or examples of how programs were modified as a result of 
the discussion. 

Several Agricultural Programs Did Not Achieve or Establish Targets: 

Based on our assessment of USAID implementing partner data, we found 
that six of the eight agricultural programs we reviewed fell short of 
achieving their established targets for several of their performance 
indicators. Additionally, although USAID requires implementing 
partners to submit information on indicators, targets, and results, as 
previously noted, not all indicators had established targets to allow 
for performance assessments. As figure 8 shows, six of the eight 
programs we reviewed did not meet their performance targets in the 
most recent year for which information was reported on performance 
targets. For the two programs that met all their targets, we found, as 
previously discussed, that they did not establish targets for several 
indicators and, thus, we could not fully assess performance for those 
indicators. We also found that the three longest-running programs in 
our review showed declines in performance over time. We measured 
performance for the eight agricultural programs in our review by 
comparing annual results against annual targets reported by USAID's 
implementing partners. We assessed the extent to which targets were 
fully met.[Footnote 22] We decided that this measure of performance 
was appropriate because implementing partners are allowed to adjust 
and revise target levels to better reflect available information in 
the field. Our analysis is detailed in appendix IV. 

Figure 8: Agricultural Programs in Afghanistan, Annual Performance, 
Fiscal Years 2005 to 2009: 

[Refer to PDF for image: table] 

M/N: Number of indicators that met 100 percent of annual target/Number 
of indicators with annual targets; Percentage of Indicators that Met 
Established Target. 

Program: ADP-Northeast; 
Fiscal year: 2005: Program operating, but performance data not 
available; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 5/15; 33%; 
Fiscal year: 2007: 8/15; 53%; 
Fiscal year: 2008: 4/14; 29%; 
Fiscal year: 2009: NA. 

Program: ADP-South; 
Fiscal year: 2005: Program operating, but performance data not 
available; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 11/14; 79%; 
Fiscal year: 2007: 5/14; 36%; 
Fiscal year: 2008: 7/14; 50%; 
Fiscal year: 2009: 3/5; 60%. 

Program: ADP-East; 
Fiscal year: 2005: Program operating, but performance data not 
available; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 10/14; 71%; 
Fiscal year: 2007: 9/13; 69%; 
Fiscal year: 2008: 5/13; 38%; 
Fiscal year: 2009: NT. 

Program: Accelerating Sustainable Agriculture Program; 
Fiscal year: 2005: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2006: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2007: 0/2; 0%; 
Fiscal year: 2008: 8/8; 100%; 
Fiscal year: 2009: 4/6; 67%. 

Program: ADP-Southwest; 
Fiscal year: 2005: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2006: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2007: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2008: 0/21; 0%; 
Fiscal year: 2009: 13/21; 62%. 

Program: Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer; 
Fiscal year: 2005: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2006: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2007: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2008: Program operating, but performance data not 
available; 
Fiscal year: 2009: 3/3; 100%. 

Program: Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture; 
Fiscal year: 2005: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2006: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2007: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2008: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2009: 2/2; 100%. 

Program: Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives-North, East, and 
West; 
Fiscal year: 2005: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2006: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2007: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2008: Program not operational; 
Fiscal year: 2009: 7/16; 44%. 

Source: GAO analysis of USAID documentation. 

Note: NA is not applicable because the program was not operational for 
most of the fiscal year. NT indicates annual targets were not 
established. We assessed performance only against indicators with 
targets. For information on all other percentage categories, please 
refer to appendix IV. 

[End of figure] 

With respect to the three longest-running agricultural programs in our 
review--ADP-Northeast, ADP-South, and ADP-East--we found that the 
number of indicators that met or exceeded annual targets generally 
declined from 2006 to 2008.[Footnote 23] For example, ADP-Northeast 
met 33 percent of its targets in fiscal year 2006 and 29 percent of 
its targets in fiscal year 2008. While ADP-Northeast showed 
improvements in the percentage of indicators that met targets between 
fiscal years 2006 and 2007, the percentage declined in 2008. 
Similarly, ADP-South met 79 percent of its targets in fiscal year 
2006, but 50 percent of its targets in fiscal year 2008. Although ADP-
South showed substantial improvements in fiscal year 2009, the 
performance assessment was based on 5 out of 25 indicators that had 
set targets (see figure 6 earlier in the report); the remaining 20 
indicators showed results, but did not have annual targets.[Footnote 
24] The Mission noted that these declines coincided with declines in 
the security environment; however, the Mission acknowledged that it 
had not conducted any analysis to confirm that the security 
environment was the reason for the declines in performance. From 2006 
to 2008, the percentage of targets met declined for indicators, such 
as the number full-time equivalent jobs; Afghans trained in business 
skills; and hectares of improved irrigation as a result of 
infrastructure works. Appendix V has details on the indicators, 
targets, and results for the latest year where performance data was 
available for each of the eight programs in our review. Based on our 
assessment, on average, the percentage of targets met declined from 
2006 to 2008 across these three programs. 

The longest-running program in our review that is currently active, 
the Accelerating Sustainable Agricultural Program, showed improvements 
in fiscal year 2008, but declined in fiscal year 2009 in the number of 
targets met. For example, the program met 0 percent of its targets in 
fiscal year 2007, 100 percent of its targets in fiscal year 2008, and 
67 percent of its targets in fiscal year 2009. 

As shown in figure 8, trends in targets met could not be determined 
for the most recent programs--Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and 
Technology Transfer, ADP-Southwest, Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased 
Production in Agriculture, and Incentives Driving Economic 
Alternatives-North, East and West--because sufficient data was not 
available to establish trends. In addition, as noted earlier, most of 
these programs failed to establish targets for all of their indicators 
and, thus, we could not assess performance for all indicators. For 
example, even though recent performance data show that Afghanistan 
Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer and Afghanistan Vouchers 
for Increased Production in Agriculture programs met all targets for 
fiscal year 2009, both programs did not set targets for all 
indicators. In fiscal year 2009, the Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, 
and Technology Transfer program set targets for 3 out of 5 indicators, 
while Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture set 
targets for 2 out of 10 indicators. All indicators with targets met or 
exceeded their annual target. 

USAID Faces Several Challenges in Implementing and Overseeing 
Agricultural Programs in Afghanistan: 

The security situation, the Afghan government's lack of capacity, and 
USAID's difficulties in providing management and staff continuity 
challenge the implementation of agricultural programs in Afghanistan. 
The security situation hinders USAID's ability to reach key areas of 
the country and monitor programs. Additionally, while the Afghan 
government's capacity to carry out its core functions has improved, 
key ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and 
Livestock--which works to restore Afghanistan's licit agricultural 
economy through increasing production and productivity, natural 
resource management, improved physical infrastructure, and market 
development--lack the ability to implement their missions effectively. 
Finally, USAID's ability to maintain institutional knowledge has been 
hampered by high staff turnover. 

Afghanistan's Security Environment Challenges USAID's Ability to 
Oversee and Implement Agricultural Programs: 

USAID noted difficulties in program oversight and implementation 
caused by the challenging security environment in Afghanistan. In 
November 2009, we reported that while U.S. and international 
development projects in Afghanistan had made some progress, 
deteriorating security complicated such efforts to stabilize and 
rebuild the country.[Footnote 25] And as we reported in May 2010, the 
lack of a secure environment has continued to challenge reconstruction 
and development efforts.[Footnote 26] Specifically, USAID has cited 
the security environment in Afghanistan as a severe impediment to its 
ability to monitor projects. For example, USAID noted that solely 
traveling by road to visit alternative development, food assistance, 
and environmental projects in rural areas of northern and eastern 
Afghanistan is normally not allowed due to security constraints, and 
must, consequently, be combined with some air travel. However, air 
service in much of the north and east is limited during the winter 
months, which has complicated oversight efforts. Similarly, USAID 
officials are required to travel with armored vehicles and armed 
escorts to visit projects in much of the country. Consequently, as 
USAID officials stated, their ability to arrange project visits can 
become restricted if military forces cannot provide the necessary 
vehicles or escorts because of heightened fighting or other 
priorities. We experienced similar restrictions to travel beyond the 
embassy compound when we visited Afghanistan in July 2009. For 
example, we were initially scheduled to visit agricultural sites in 
Jalalabad, but could not due to security threats. Instead, 
implementing partners traveled to Kabul to meet with us. According to 
USAID, limited monitoring has heightened the risk of fraud, waste, and 
mismanagement of USAID resources. 

In addition to increasing challenges in overseeing programs, the 
security environment has also challenged USAID's ability to implement 
programs, increasing implementation times and costs for projects in 
nonsecure areas. In particular, U.S. officials cited poor security as 
having caused delays, disruptions, and even abandonment of certain 
reconstruction projects. For example, according to implementing 
partner officials, in ADP-Southwest, some 15 to 20 illegal security 
checkpoints run by the Taliban and criminals near major trade centers 
have increased costs to and endangered the lives of farmers they 
support. 

USAID predicated the success of its agricultural programs on a stable 
or improving security environment. In preparing its 2005-2010 
strategic plan, USAID assumed that security conditions would remain 
stable enough to continue reconstruction and development activities. 
Likewise, several implementing partner documents included this 
assumption, and USAID officials affirmed that this assumption remains 
true today. Furthermore, the commander of the North Atlantic Treaty 
Organization-led International Security Assistance Force and U.S. 
forces in Afghanistan testified in his June 2009 confirmation hearing 
that improved security was a prerequisite for the development of local 
governance and economic growth in Afghanistan. However, as figure 9 
illustrates, while attack levels continue to fluctuate seasonally, the 
annual attack "peak" (high point) and "trough" (low point) for each 
year since September 2005 have surpassed the peak and trough, 
respectively, for the preceding year. 

Figure 9: Average Daily Reported Enemy-Initiated Attacks in 
Afghanistan, January 2005-May 2010: 

[Refer to PDF for image: line graph] 

Date: Jan-2005; 
Total average daily attacks: 3.23. 

Date: Feb-2005; 
Total average daily attacks: 2.21. 

Date: Mar-2005; 
Total average daily attacks: 3.97. 

Date: Apr-2005; 
Total average daily attacks: 5.8. 

Date: May-2005; 
Total average daily attacks: 6.74. 

Date: Jun-2005; 
Total average daily attacks: 8.2. 

Date: Jul-2005; 
Total average daily attacks: 6.97. 

Date: Aug-2005; 
Total average daily attacks: 9.16. 

Date: Sep-2005; Sept. 18, 2005: Elections for lower house of National 
Assembly and provincial councils; 
Total average daily attacks: 11.1. 

Date: Oct-2005; 
Total average daily attacks: 8.16. 

Date: Nov-2005; 
Total average daily attacks: 7.03. 

Date: Dec-2005; 
Total average daily attacks: 5.71. 

Date: Jan-2006; 
Total average daily attacks: 5.58. 

Date: Feb-2006; 
Total average daily attacks: 7.79. 

Date: Mar-2006; 
Total average daily attacks: 8.23. 

Date: Apr-2006; 
Total average daily attacks: 10.63. 

Date: May-2006; 
Total average daily attacks: 10.42. 

Date: Jun-2006; 
Total average daily attacks: 13.47. 

Date: Jul-2006; 
Total average daily attacks: 18.68. 

Date: Aug-2006; 
Total average daily attacks: 22.9. 

Date: Sep-2006; 
Total average daily attacks: 23.3. 

Date: Oct-2006; 
Total average daily attacks: 18.52. 

Date: Nov-2006; 
Total average daily attacks: 15.2. 

Date: Dec-2006; 
Total average daily attacks: 11. 

Date: Jan-2007; 
Total average daily attacks: 11.9. 

Date: Feb-2007; 
Total average daily attacks: 9.68. 

Date: Mar-2007; 
Total average daily attacks: 15.52. 

Date: Apr-2007; 
Total average daily attacks: 17.33. 

Date: May-2007; 
Total average daily attacks: 19.1. 

Date: Jun-2007; 
Total average daily attacks: 22.23. 

Date: Jul-2007; 
Total average daily attacks: 23.29. 

Date: Aug-2007; 
Total average daily attacks: 26.55. 

Date: Sep-2007; 
Total average daily attacks: 26.63. 

Date: Oct-2007; 
Total average daily attacks: 21.71. 

Date: Nov-2007; 
Total average daily attacks: 19.87. 

Date: Dec-2007; 
Total average daily attacks: 16.19. 

Date: Jan-2008; 
Total average daily attacks: 16.03. 

Date: Feb-2008; 
Total average daily attacks: 16.31. 

Date: Mar-2008; 
Total average daily attacks: 20.81. 

Date: Apr-2008; 
Total average daily attacks: 23.53. 

Date: May-2008; 
Total average daily attacks: 32.26. 

Date: Jun-2008; 
Total average daily attacks: 33.67. 

Date: Jul-2008; 
Total average daily attacks: 40.84. 

Date: Aug-2008; 
Total average daily attacks: 46.42. 

Date: Sep-2008; 
Total average daily attacks: 48.93. 

Date: Oct-2008; 
Total average daily attacks: 43.42. 

Date: Nov-2008; 
Total average daily attacks: 41.6. 

Date: Dec-2008; 
Total average daily attacks: 33.35. 

Date: Jan-2009; 
Total average daily attacks: 27.65. 

Date: Feb-2009; 
Total average daily attacks: 29.79. 

Date: Mar-2009; 
Total average daily attacks: 38.1. 

Date: Apr-2009; 
Total average daily attacks: 35.53. 

Date: May-2009; 
Total average daily attacks: 49.52. 

Date: Jun-2009; 
Total average daily attacks: 69.8. 

Date: Jul-2009; 
Total average daily attacks: 80.39. 

Date: Aug-2009; Aug. 20, 2009: Elections for President and provincial 
councils; 
Total average daily attacks: 102.03. 

Date: Sep-2009; 
Total average daily attacks: 82.2. 

Date: Oct-2009; 
Total average daily attacks: 68.29. 

Date: Nov-2009; 
Total average daily attacks: 60.6. 

Date: Dec-2009; 
Total average daily attacks: 54.77. 

Date: Jan.-2010; 
Total average daily attacks: 58.03. 

Date: Feb.-2010; 
Total average daily attacks: 54.89. 

Date: Mar.-2010; 
Total average daily attacks: 67.52. 

Date: Apr.-2010; 
Total average daily attacks: 70.33. 

Date: May-2010; 
Total average daily attacks: 93.06. 

Source: GAO analysis of Department of Defense data. 

[End of figure] 

Limited Afghanistan Ministerial Capacity: 

USAID has increasingly included and emphasized capacity building among 
its programs to address the government of Afghanistan's lack of 
capacity to sustain and maintain many of the programs and projects put 
in place by donors.[Footnote 27] In 2009, USAID rated the capability 
of 14 of 19 Afghan ministries and institutions it works with as 1 or 2 
on a scale of 5, with 1 representing the need for substantial 
assistance across all areas and 5 representing the ability to perform 
without assistance. For example, the Ministry of Agriculture, 
Irrigation, and Livestock was given a rating of 2--needing technical 
assistance to perform all but routine functions--while the Ministry 
for Rural Rehabilitation and Development was given a rating of 4--
needing little technical assistance. Although USAID has noted overall 
improvement among the ministries and institutions in recent years, 
none was given a rating of 5. USAID officials noted that a key Afghan 
official was recently moved from the Ministry for Rural Rehabilitation 
and Development to enhance the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, 
and Livestock's capacity. As a result, USAID officials also said that 
they have recently begun to work more closely with Ministry of 
Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock. 

According to the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, 
Afghanistan's capacity problems are exacerbated by government 
corruption, a significant and growing problem in the country. 
Transparency International's 2009 Corruption Perception Index ranked 
the country 179 out of 180.[Footnote 28] Similarly, in April 2009, 
USAID published an independent report, Assessment of Corruption in 
Afghanistan, that found that corruption, defined as "the abuse of 
public position for private gain," is a significant and growing 
problem across Afghanistan that undermines security, development, and 
democracy-building objectives. According to USAID's assessment, 
pervasive, entrenched, and systemic corruption is now at an 
unprecedented scope in the country's history. The causes of corruption 
in Afghan public administration, according to the Afghanistan National 
Development Strategy, can be attributed to a lack of institutional 
capacity in public administration, weak legislative and regulatory 
frameworks, limited enforcement of laws and regulations, poor and 
nonmerit-based qualifications of public officials, low salaries of 
public servants, and a dysfunctional justice sector. Furthermore, the 
sudden influx of donor money into a system already suffering from 
poorly regulated procurement practices increases the risk of 
corruption and waste of resources. However, the assessment also noted 
that Afghanistan has or is developing most of the institutions needed 
to combat corruption, but these institutions, like the rest of the 
government, are limited by a lack of capacity, rivalries, and poor 
integration. The assessment also noted that the Afghan government's 
apparent unwillingness to pursue and prosecute high-level corruption 
was particularly problematic. 

USAID moved to address this lack of capacity and growing corruption by 
including a capacity-building component in its more recent contracts. 
For example, the Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology 
Transfer program was designed to, among other things, improve the 
capabilities of Afghan ministries and universities by partnering with 
them on research-based decision making and outreach projects, and to 
identify water and land-use policies and institutional frameworks that 
encourage individuals and local, provincial, and the national 
governments to increase sustainable economic development. Likewise, 
the Assessment of Corruption in Afghanistan report noted that 
"substantial USAID assistance [was] already designed to strengthen 
transparency, accountability, and effectiveness--prime routes to 
combat corruption--in the most critical functions of national and 
subnational government." For example, the assessment points to 
alternative-development and agricultural efforts to create incentives 
to not grow poppy, but also notes that these efforts should be 
coordinated with enforcement efforts supported by the Departments of 
Defense, Justice, and State. 

The Administration has further emphasized capacity building by 
pursuing a policy of Afghan-led development, or "Afghanization," to 
ensure that Afghans lead efforts to secure and develop their country. 
At the national level, the United States plans to channel more of its 
assistance through the Afghan government's core budget. At the field 
level, the U.S.-assistance plan is to shift assistance to smaller, 
more flexible, and faster contract and grant mechanisms to increase 
decentralized decision making in the field. The new U.S. government 
agricultural strategy, linked to the U.S. effort to counter 
insurgency, stresses the importance of increasing the Ministry of 
Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock's capacity to deliver services 
and promote the private sector and farmers' associations through 
direct budget and technical assistance. However, USAID also recognized 
that, with the move toward direct assistance to government ministries, 
USAID's vulnerability to waste and corruption is anticipated to 
increase. According to USAID officials, direct budget assistance to 
the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock is dependent on 
the ability of the ministry to demonstrate the capacity to handle the 
assistance. These officials noted that an assessment of the Ministry 
of Agriculture, Irrigation, and: 

Livestock's ability to manage direct funding was being completed. 
[Footnote 29] The U.S. Embassy has plans under way to establish a unit 
at the embassy to receive and program funds on behalf of the Ministry 
while building the Ministry's capacity to manage the funds on its own. 

USAID Faces Challenges to Maintaining Institutional Knowledge: 

USAID has not taken steps to mitigate challenges to maintaining 
institutional knowledge, a problem exacerbated by high staff turnover. 
As we noted earlier, USAID did not consistently document decisions and 
staff could not always respond to our questions about changes that had 
taken place over the life of the programs, often noting that they were 
not present at the time of the changes. For example, when we inquired 
about changes in the results and performance data reported, USAID 
officials in Afghanistan were not able to comment on the performance 
data or why changes were made to the data and noted that they were 
either not present when the changes took place or were too recently 
staffed to comment on performance data reported. Likewise, the Special 
Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan's staff responsible for 
drafting the current agricultural strategy for the United States 
stated that they could not effectively discuss USAID program 
implementation over the last several years because they were not there 
and lacked institutional knowledge of the programs. 

We previously reported that USAID and other agencies in Afghanistan 
lack enough acquisition and oversight personnel with experience 
working in contingency operations.[Footnote 30] The USAID Mission to 
Afghanistan has experienced high staff turnover--USAID personnel are 
assigned 1-year assignments with an option to extend their assignment 
for an additional year--which USAID acknowledged hampered program 
design and implementation. In addition, the State Department Office of 
Inspector General noted in its recent inspection of the entire embassy 
and its staff, including USAID, that 1-year assignments coupled with 
multiple rest-and-recuperation breaks limited the development of 
expertise, contributed to a lack of continuity, and required a higher 
number of officers to achieve strategic goals.[Footnote 31] For 
example, the USAID monitoring officials for the eight programs we 
examined were in place on average 7.5 months (see table 4). Moreover, 
the length of time that a monitoring official is in place has 
declined. As of September 2009, the two most recently initiated 
programs, the Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in 
Agriculture program and the Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives-
North, East, and West program, have had monitoring officials in place 
for an average of only 3 months each. 

Table 3: USAID Monitoring Officials by Program, January 2005 to 
September 2009: 

Program: ADP-Northeast; 
Months of monitoring official oversight: 55; 
Number of monitoring officials: 6; 
Average months per monitoring official: 9. 

Program: ADP-South; 
Months of monitoring official oversight: 55; 
Number of monitoring officials: 4; 
Average months per monitoring official: 14. 

Program: ADP-East; 
Months of monitoring official oversight: 55; 
Number of monitoring officials: 6; 
Average months per monitoring official: 9. 

Program: Accelerating Sustainable Agriculture Program; 
Months of monitoring official oversight: 34; 
Number of monitoring officials: 6; 
Average months per monitoring official: 6. 

Program: ADP-Southwest; 
Months of monitoring official oversight: 19; 
Number of monitoring officials: 4; 
Average months per monitoring official: 5. 

Program: Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer; 
Months of monitoring official oversight: 19; 
Number of monitoring officials: 2; 
Average months per monitoring official: 9. 

Program: Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture; 
Months of monitoring official oversight: 12; 
Number of monitoring officials: 4; 
Average months per monitoring official: 3. 

Program: Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives--North, East, and 
West; 
Months of monitoring official oversight: 7; 
Number of monitoring officials: 2; 
Average months per monitoring official: 3. 

Source: GAO analysis of USAID data. 

Note: Numbers may not divide to averages because of rounding. 

[End of table] 

USAID has not addressed the need to ensure the preservation of 
institutional knowledge. USAID officials noted that the effectiveness 
of passing key information from one monitoring official to another, is 
dependent on how well the current official has maintained his or her 
files and what guidance, if any, is left for their successor. USAID 
officials noted that a lack of documentation and knowledge transfer 
may have contributed to the loss of institutional knowledge. 

Conclusions: 

Agricultural development is a key element of U.S. counterinsurgency 
efforts in Afghanistan. The United States considers agricultural 
assistance a key contribution to Afghanistan's reconstruction and 
stabilization. Since 2002, the United States has awarded about $1.4 
billion toward agricultural programs in Afghanistan and plans to 
invest hundreds of millions of dollars more. 

As such, ensuring sufficient oversight and accountability for 
development efforts in Afghanistan takes on particular importance. In 
addition to relying on implementing partners to execute its programs, 
a key part of the U.S. oversight and accountability efforts involves a 
reliance on the collection and analysis of implementing partner data. 
These implementing partners are expected to and have reported 
routinely on the performance of USAID's agricultural programs. 
However, USAID has not always approved performance indicators 
established by its implementing partners, allowing one program to 
operate for almost 5 years without approved performance indicators. 
Additionally, USAID did not ensure that its implementing partners had 
established targets for each performance indicator, and USAID did not 
consistently analyze and interpret implementing partner performance 
data, which is vital to making program adjustments, higher-level 
decisions, and resource allocation. Without a set of agreed-upon 
indicators and targets, and analysis and interpretation of reported 
performance data, it becomes more difficult to accurately assess the 
performance of USAID agricultural programs. It is also unclear whether 
or how USAID has used evaluations to further institutional learning, 
inform current programs, and shape future planning. Best management 
practices have demonstrated that routine evaluations enable program 
managers to identify program vulnerabilities, implement lessons 
learned, help program managers understand program weaknesses and make 
needed improvements. Moreover, a lack of documentation of key 
programmatic decisions and an insufficient method to transfer 
knowledge to successors have contributed to the loss of institutional 
knowledge and the ability of the U.S. government and others to build 
on lessons learned. This makes it more difficult for USAID officials 
responsible for programmatic decisions, most of whom are in place for 
less than a year, to make informed decisions about shaping current and 
future programs. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To enhance the performance management of USAID's agricultural programs 
in Afghanistan, we recommend the Administrator of USAID take steps to: 

* ensure the approval of implementing partner performance indicators; 

* ensure that implementing partners establish targets for all 
performance indicators; 

* consistently analyze and interpret program data, such as determining 
the extent to which annual targets are met; 

* make use of results from evaluations of its agricultural programs; 
and: 

* address preservation of institutional knowledge. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

USAID provided written comments on a draft of this report. The 
comments are reprinted in appendix VI. USAID generally agreed with the 
report's findings, conclusions, and recommendations and described 
several initiatives that address elements of the recommendations. In 
further discussions with USAID to clarify its response, USAID 
officials stressed the challenges involved in working in Afghanistan 
as a result of the security environment and working conditions. They 
submitted additional documentation, including new guidance on 
monitoring in high-threat environments, which was disseminated in 
December 2009. USAID also provided technical comments, which we have 
included throughout this report as appropriate. We also provided 
drafts of this report to the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and 
State, all of which declined to comment. 

We are sending copies of this report to interested congressional 
committees, USAID, and the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and 
State. In addition, the report will be available at no charge on GAO's 
Web site at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov. 

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please 
contact me at (202) 512-7331 or johnsoncm@gao.gov]. Contact points for 
our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found 
on the last page of this report. Key contributors to this report are 
listed in appendix VII. 

Signed by: 

Charles Michael Johnson Jr. 
Director: 
International Affairs and Trade: 

List of Addressees: 

The Honorable Carl Levin: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable John McCain: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Armed Service: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable John F. Kerry: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Richard G. Lugar: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Foreign Relations: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Susan M. Collins: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Ike Skelton: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Howard P. McKeon: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Howard L. Berman: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Foreign Affairs: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Edolphus Towns: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Darrell Issa: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Nita M. Lowey: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Kay Granger: 
Ranking Member: 
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Russ Carnahan: 
Chairman: 
Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and 
Oversight: 
Committee on Foreign Affairs: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable John Tierney: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Jeff Flake: 
Ranking Member: 
Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs: 
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Russ Feingold: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Mike Honda: 
House of Representatives: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

This review assesses (1) how the United States has changed the focus 
of its agricultural efforts in Afghanistan since 2002, (2) USAID's 
performance management and evaluation efforts of agricultural programs 
in Afghanistan, (3) the extent to which USAID's agricultural programs 
in Afghanistan met targets, and (4) USAID's efforts to mitigate 
challenges in implementing agricultural programs in Afghanistan. In 
addition, we analyzed financial information on USAID's programs in 
Afghanistan and reported on the financial status of its agricultural 
programs. 

To assess USAID's agricultural programs in Afghanistan, including 
changes in focus, we met with officials from USAID, the Departments of 
Agriculture, Defense, and State--including the Special Representative 
for Afghanistan and Pakistan's office--and implementing partners in 
Washington, D.C., and Kabul, Afghanistan. In Kabul, we also met with 
officials from the United Nations, the governments of Afghanistan and 
the United Kingdom, and a local research group to discuss agricultural 
efforts. We traveled to the provinces of Badakhshan and Farah to meet 
with U.S. and Afghan officials and discussed various U.S.-funded 
projects. For example, in Farah, we met with the local Afghan 
officials and beneficiaries of U.S. assistance to discuss the progress 
of USAID's agricultural projects, visited a project site, and met with 
U.S. contractors implementing the projects. In Badakhshan, we also met 
with local officials and beneficiaries to discuss USAID agricultural 
efforts and how U.S. assistance was being used. In addition, we 
reviewed past GAO work and reports from other agencies in the U.S. 
accountability community and nongovernmental organizations on 
Afghanistan's current situation and the challenges it faces. We 
reviewed U.S. government documents concerning the U.S. agricultural 
strategy and efforts in Afghanistan, as well as USAID funding data. 
Beginning in fiscal year 2005, USAID began financing agricultural 
projects as part of the U.S. government's counternarcotics strategy. 
These were initially referred to as alternative-livelihood programs, 
but were later called alternative-development programs (ADP). To track 
this strategy over time, we reported the share of annual obligated and 
disbursed funds for ADP and for other agriculture activities. We 
focused our review on the eight USAID agricultural programs that were 
active between 2007 and 2009 and had total awards of more than $15 
million; however, our analysis of financial information included all 
USAID agricultural programs. None of the agricultural programs 
included in GAO's review were Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) 
and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) programs. We 
did not address agriculture-related projects carried out independently 
by other U.S. government agencies, such the Department of Defense's 
Commander's Emergency Response Program, or those carried out by 
multilateral institutions to which the United States contributes, such 
as the United Nations Development Programme or World Food Program. 
[Footnote 32] 

To assess USAID's performance management and evaluation efforts, we 
reviewed the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993[Footnote 
33] and pertinent GAO evaluations of performance management practices 
to identify best practices. In addition, we examined USAID's Automated 
Directives System and USAID performance management and evaluation 
documents to identify the agency's procedures, requirements, and 
guidance. The Government Performance and Results Act and USAID's 
Automated Directives System establish requirements or provide guidance 
at a level higher than the program level; the former operates at the 
agency level and the latter directs most of its performance management 
and evaluations procedures to the bureau or mission level. 
Nevertheless, effective planning for results at the agency, mission, 
and bureau level is a function of effective planning for results at 
the program level. We view results-oriented management tools, 
including the setting of indicators and targets, as important at all 
levels of an agency, including the program level. Consequently, we 
determined that the Government Performance and Results Act criteria, 
which is operationalized for USAID through its Automated Directives 
System, is applicable at this level as well. We reviewed USAID and 
implementing partner planning, funding, and reporting documents for 
their agricultural programs in Afghanistan, as well as those 
addressing evaluations. Our review of these documents provided us with 
information regarding the programs' performance management structure, 
goals, objectives, indicators, and targets. We examined these and 
other documents to determine the extent to which the Mission followed 
requirements, guidance, and best practices. 

To assess the extent to which performance was achieved, we reviewed 
all quarterly and annual reports, implementing partner PMPs, and 
annual work plans for the eight agricultural programs under review. 
The data were primarily compiled from implementing partner quarterly 
reports from April 2005 though September 2009. When data were not 
available, we used the PMPs and other documents to fill in gaps. USAID 
could not provide all the needed documents; we, therefore, requested 
missing documents from the implementing partners. To determine the 
validity and reliability of the data reported in the quarterly 
reports, we requested USAID's completed data quality assessments. We 
received one USAID data quality assessment completed for all 
agricultural programs from November 2008, and one program data quality 
assessment completed by USAID monitoring officials, also from November 
2008. We also checked the data for inconsistencies and questioned 
USAID officials and implementing partners about any inconsistencies. 
We found the data in the quarterly reports to be sufficiently reliable 
for our purposes. 

The data collected were organized in a spreadsheet on a quarterly 
basis for the eight programs. To track program performance over time, 
we collected all reported quantitative data on indicators, targets, 
and results. For each reported indicator, we measured performance 
achieved as the ratio of results against established targets. We found 
that implementing partners were inconsistent in reporting on targets, 
by either not setting targets, or in two cases, retroactively setting 
or revising targets. In addition, two programs shifted reporting time 
frames between fiscal and calendar years. Some of the changes resulted 
from implementing partner audits or a USAID Regional Inspector General 
audit of the data collected and reported to USAID. Although USAID 
encourages and permits changes to targets over the life of a program 
in response to new information, these factors complicated attempts to 
determine performance. Furthermore, in some cases, in addition to 
targets, the results were also updated retroactively. We captured 
changes in target levels and reported results by inserting additional 
lines in a spreadsheet. This process allowed us to determine changes 
in targets, results, and performance achieved over time. 

In general, data reported in quarterly reports were presented 
cumulatively; however, we found this presentation masked performance 
achieved in a specific year. Therefore, once all cumulative data were 
entered into the spreadsheet, we calculated the numbers to show annual 
targets, results, and performance. The performance data collected were 
categorized into eight categories: (1) met or exceeded target, (2) 
achieved 76 to 99 percent of target set, (3) achieved 51 to 75 percent 
of target set, (4) achieved 26 to 50 percent of target set, (5) 
achieved 1 to 25 percent of target set, (6) achieved zero progress 
toward target set, (7) number of indicators used to assess 
performance, and (8) no target set. Based on the categorical 
assessment, we were able to determine the number of indicators 
reported annually and over the life of the program in each of the 
categories noted above. We are reporting program performance 
achievements on the annual percentage of indicators that met or 
exceeded the target. For example, if there were 15 indicators and 9 
indicators had met or exceeded the target, than annual program 
performance was 60 percent (9/15). We decided this measure of 
performance was appropriate because implementing partners are allowed 
to adjust and revise target levels to better reflect available 
information in the field. Further, we found that the percentage of 
indicators meeting their targets could increase or decrease for a 
variety of reasons, including changes in measures, the types of 
measures or the targets set, as well as changes in actual underlying 
performance. A review of all those factors was beyond the scope of 
this report. 

To examine the challenges faced by agricultural efforts in 
Afghanistan, we reviewed U.S. strategy documents and USAID documents 
addressing the status of and challenges faced by U.S. efforts in 
Afghanistan, including security, Afghan capacity and corruption, and 
USAID staffing and workspace concerns. We also reviewed Department of 
Defense documents on counterinsurgency strategy and joint diplomatic-
military plans. We updated attack data on which we had previously 
reported. We assessed the data and found them to be sufficiently 
reliable for our purposes. We reviewed the Afghan government and 
nongovernmental organization reports regarding capacity and corruption 
in Afghanistan. To compile a list of USAID monitoring officials, we 
reviewed the names listed in data USAID provided. 

To report financial information on USAID agriculture programs and 
individual projects, we used financial information from the "Pipeline 
Report" generated from USAID's Phoenix financial management 
information system provided to us by the Office of Financial 
Management at the USAID Mission to Afghanistan. This report contains 
cumulative financial information for individual projects that may be 
funded through a contract, cooperative agreement, or grant. We 
received pipeline reports for all USAID projects in Afghanistan as of 
the end of fiscal years 2004-2009 and March 31, 2010, and for selected 
agriculture projects, we received quarterly pipeline reports from 
fiscal years 2005-2009. The March 31, 2010, pipeline report contains 
financial information on USAID projects in Afghanistan from fiscal 
year 2002 to March 31, 2010, for 254 projects of which 41 were 
agriculture projects. We also checked the data for inconsistencies and 
questioned USAID officials about any inconsistencies. To describe the 
financial status of the USAID agriculture program, we used three 
financing concepts: award, unliquidated obligation, and disbursement. 
These are related to, but not exactly the same as budget concepts. 
Award refers to the dollar amount of the award in a signed contract, 
cooperative agreement, or grant. The signed document indicates the 
period of time over which the project is expected to be implemented. 
The amount of the award, the time frame, and other elements of the 
contractual agreement may be changed through a formal amendment 
process. Unliquidated obligations represent the current amount of 
obligations remaining to be disbursed. Disbursements are those funds 
that have been released from the U.S. Treasury. Cumulative obligations 
is the total of unliquidated obligations plus disbursements. 

The e-supplement presents information on Afghanistan for select 
indicators, including poverty rates by province and region, and the 
number of households that produced crops during the summer and winter 
seasons during 2007/2008. The information comes from supplementary 
tables to a Government of Afghanistan household survey, National Risk 
and Vulnerability Assessment 2007/8, [hyperlink, 
http://nrva.cso.gov.af/index.html] released online in January 2010. 
The survey covered the period from September 2007 through August 2008, 
and was conducted with the financial and technical assistance of the 
European Commission and several other organizations. 

The report groups contiguous provinces into 8 regions. For each of the 
34 provinces and 8 regions we report the population and compute the 
share of population that has access to land, has access to safe 
drinking water, is literate (ages 15 years and over), is urban, has 
access to electricity, has access to public health facilities (1 hour 
or less by foot), and owns livestock. The poverty rate is the share of 
population living on less than a minimum level of food and nonfood 
(for example, shelter) consumption. In the map, provinces are 
categorized into 5 groups from high to low ranges of poverty rates. 
These are from a World Bank analysis of the assessment's data. These 
are ranges of poverty rates and not confidence intervals. The poverty 
rate is only presented for the regions, a national average for the 
year and for seasons of the year. 

For a list of 25 crops, including other crops, the report lists the 
number of households that produce each crop during the summer and 
winter seasons on irrigated land. Since more than one crop may be 
grown each season by a farmer, the assessment reports the number of 
households that report each crop as its primary, second, or third 
crop. For example, during the summer season, 1,349,200 households 
cultivate a primary crop, 889,200 households (66 percent) cultivate a 
second crop, and 448,700 households (33 percent) produce a third crop. 
For each crop, we computed the number of households that reported 
producing that crop, regardless whether as a primary, second, or third 
crop, for each season. We also provide tables showing the number of 
households that report producing crops as the primary, second, or 
third crop, for each season. There is no information on the number of 
households that produce different crops on rain-fed land. The 
assessment reports that 591,000 households have access to rain-fed 
land, but some of these households may also have access to irrigated 
land. 

We reviewed the survey methodology of National Risk and Vulnerability 
Assessment 2007/8 report and found it to be sufficiently sound, 
particularly given the challenging environment in which the data were 
collected and the potentially sensitive nature of the questionnaire 
topics. That said, we were not able to ascertain information on some 
aspects of the survey, which would have helped shed light on its 
quality. A survey's design can be judged by its success or failure in 
minimizing the following types of errors. 

* Sampling error. The report provides no information on the precision 
of its estimates. Usually, this is expressed in a confidence interval. 
We cannot, therefore, judge the reliability of the point estimates. 

* Nonresponse error. The report mentions a process of reserve 
replacement sampled households in the event of a noncontact. However, 
no data is kept on how frequently these were used, so it is not 
possible to calculate a response rate. Officials reported that this 
replacement rate was low. 

* Coverage error. Sixty-eight of the 2441 primary sampling units were 
replaced, mostly due to security concerns. Such coverage errors could 
lead to a coverage bias if those covered are categorically different 
from those not covered with respect to variables of interest. 

* Measurement error. While most of the questionnaire is not of a 
sensitive nature, we have to be aware that farmers might not be 
completely honest with a government interviewer when it comes to the 
cultivation of illicit crops. As such, our assessment was based only 
on information that was made available about the survey methodology. 

We conducted this performance audit from March 2009 through July 2010 
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe 
that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Funding Breakout of USAID Agricultural Programs in 
Afghanistan, as of the End of Fiscal Year 2009: 

Summary financial information about the eight agriculture programs 
discussed in our report is reported in table 5. Because we selected 
relatively large programs, the total amount of funds that USAID 
planned to spend on these eight programs over $1 billion or 75 percent 
of the total awards for all 41 agriculture programs. One program, the 
Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture program, 
accounts for 26 percent of all agricultural awards. As of the end of 
fiscal year 2009, these eight programs accounted for 69 percent of 
total USAID agricultural assistance disbursements, with one program 
accounting for 18 percent of all disbursements. 

Table 4: Funding Status for Eight USAID Agricultural Programs and 
Total USAID Programs in Afghanistan, as of March 31, 2010: 

Dollar in millions: 

ADP-Northeast; 
Dollar in millions: Start date: 2/17/2005; 
Dollar in millions: End date: 2/16/2009; 
Dollar in millions: Award: $60; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 4%; 
Dollar in millions: Unliquidated obligations plus disbursements: $60; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 6%; 
Dollar in millions: Disbursements: $60; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 7%. 

ADP-South; 
Dollar in millions: Start date: 2/15/2005; 
Dollar in millions: End date: 9/30/2009; 
Dollar in millions: Award: $166; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 12%; 
Dollar in millions: Unliquidated obligations plus disbursements: $166; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 17%; 
Dollar in millions: Disbursements: $165; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 18%. 

ADP-East; 
Dollar in millions: Start date: 2/15/2005; 
Dollar in millions: End date: 6/30/2009; 
Dollar in millions: Award: $118; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 8%; 
Dollar in millions: Unliquidated obligations plus disbursements: $118; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 12%; 
Dollar in millions: Disbursements: $116; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 13%. 

Accelerating Sustainable Agriculture Program; 
Dollar in millions: Start date: 11/22/2006; 
Dollar in millions: End date: 11/21/2010; 
Dollar in millions: Award: $102; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 7%; 
Dollar in millions: Unliquidated obligations plus disbursements: $102; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 10%; 
Dollar in millions: Disbursements: $86; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 10%. 

ADP-Southwest; 
Dollar in millions: Start date: 3/5/2008; 
Dollar in millions: End date: 3/4/2011; 
Dollar in millions: Award: $75; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 5%; 
Dollar in millions: Unliquidated obligations plus disbursements: $40; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 4%; 
Dollar in millions: Disbursements: $30; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 3%. 

Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer; 
Dollar in millions: Start date: 3/3/2008; 
Dollar in millions: End date: 3/2/2011; 
Dollar in millions: Award: $20; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 1%; 
Dollar in millions: Unliquidated obligations plus disbursements: $10; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 1%; 
Dollar in millions: Disbursements: $7; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 1%. 

Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture; 
Dollar in millions: Start date: 9/25/2008; 
Dollar in millions: End date: 8/31/2010; 
Dollar in millions: Award: $360; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 26%; 
Dollar in millions: Unliquidated obligations plus disbursements: $185; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 18%; 
Dollar in millions: Disbursements: $135; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 15%. 

Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives-North, East, and West; 
Dollar in millions: Start date: 3/2/2009; 
Dollar in millions: End date: 3/1/2014; 
Dollar in millions: Award: $150; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 11%; 
Dollar in millions: Unliquidated obligations plus disbursements: $35; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 3%; 
Dollar in millions: Disbursements: $24; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 3%. 

Subtotal (8 awards); 
Dollar in millions: Award: $1,051; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 75%; 
Dollar in millions: Unliquidated obligations plus disbursements: $717; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 71%; 
Dollar in millions: Disbursements: $623; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 69%. 

Total Agricultural (41 awards); 
Dollar in millions: Award: $1,410; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 100%; 
Dollar in millions: Unliquidated obligations plus disbursements: 
$1,006; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 100%; 
Dollar in millions: Disbursements: $903; 
Dollar in millions: Percentage of total: 100%. 

Total USAID (254 awards); 
Dollar in millions: Award: $11,523; 
Dollar in millions: Unliquidated obligations plus disbursements: 
$7,516; 
Dollar in millions: Disbursements: $6,275. 

Source: GAO analysis of USAID data. 

Note: Unliquidated obligation plus disbursement is also referred to as 
cumulative obligation. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: USAID Agricultural Program, by Province, and Examples of 
Activities: 

The following figure shows the provinces in which the eight 
agricultural programs we reviewed were active and an example of the 
types of activities they undertook. 

Figure 10: USAID Agricultural Programs, by Province, and Examples of 
Activities: 

[Refer to PDF for image: illustrated maps, photographs and 
accompanying data] 

ADP-Northeast: Badakhshan; Takhar; 
Total award: $60 million; 
Infrastructure: Over one year, the implementing partner employed an 
average of 200 workers to rehabilitate the road between Faizabad and 
Argo, reducing travel time for farmers and others from 2 hours to 30 
minutes; adding protections, like retaining walls, to counter 
landslides and erosion; and strengthening the community’s trust in its 
local government’s ability to respond to its needs. 

ADP-East: Nurestan; Nangarhar; Laghman; Konar; 
Total award: $118 million; 
Gender: Women water vegetable seedlings in a greenhouse that is part 
of the program’s gender and microenterprise efforts. The implementing 
partner created 18 women-owned greenhouses in three provinces— 
Nangarhar, Laghman, and Konar—and promoted the sales of seedlings from 
the nurseries to program-supported farmers. The implementing partner 
conducted business training for the female operators, in addition to 2-
month basic literacy classes and training in a nonliterate accounting 
system. 

ADP-Southwest: Nimruz; Farah; Helmand; Oruzgan; 
Total award: $75 million; 
Training: A field worker trains some of Farah province’s largest
pomegranate orchard owners in new skills for improving pomegranate
production. The implementing partner trained farmers on the benefits
of pruning and cross pollinating pomegranate trees and provided
them with a professional grafting tool. The market demand is for large,
attractive pomegranates; by using the new techniques introduced by
the implementing partner, farmers could double or triple their
earnings. 

ADP-South: Kandahar; Nimruz; Helmand; Oruzgan; 
Total award: $166 million; 
Agriculture (grain, vegetable, horticulture, livestock, nuts, and 
trees): Various vegetables grow in the shade house with drip 
irrigation at Bolan Demonstration Farm in Helmand Province. The 
implementing partner used the farm to introduce new vegetable 
varieties and growing techniques to Afghan farmers. The implementing 
partner also assisted the farmers in finding overseas markets for 
their produce. 

Accelerating Sustainable Agriculture Program: Panjshir; Kabul; Parvan; 
Kapisa; Kondoz; Takhar; Lowgar; Farah; Herat; Badghis; Ghowr; Faryab; 
Sar-e-pol; Bamian; Ghazni; Vardak; Baghlan; Samangan; Balkh; 
Jowzjan; 
Total award: $102 million; 
Private Sector Development: Workers sort and grade
apricots at the new packhouse at Badam Bagh Demonstration Farm
for export to countries like the United Arab Emirates and India. The
implementing partner promoted Afghanistan’s agriculture products
worldwide by identifying new markets and buyers for Afghan produce,
linking international buyers and Afghan sellers, facilitating business
deals, and supporting the export of Afghan produce abroad. 

Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer: Balkh; 
Kapisa; Nangahar; Kabul; Parvan; 
Total award: $20 million; 
Institutional Capacity Building: Irrigation Engineers
receive training at the offices of the Ministry of Agriculture, 
Irrigation, and Livestock. The implementing partner focused on 
capacity building in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and 
Livestock and in agricultural universities and conducted several 
training sessions and workshops, including workshops on natural 
resource management. 

Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture: 
Panjshir; Kabul; Parvan; Kapisa; Kondoz; Takhar; Farah; Herat; 
Badghis; Ghowr; Faryab; Sar-e-pol; Bamian; Baghlan; Samangan; Balkh; 
Jowzjan; Badakhstan; Helmand; Kandahar; 
Total award: $360 million; 
Agriculture (grain, vegetable, horticulture, livestock, nuts, and 
trees): Harvested wheat in Herat province. The implementing partner 
supplied improved wheat seed and fertilizer vouchers to Afghan farmers 
to address imminent food insecurity following the drought in 2008 and 
in the face of increased global prices for wheat. 

Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives–North, East, and West: 
Nurestan; Kabul; Nangarhar; Laghman; Konar; Takhar; Kondoz; 
Badakhstan; Badghis; Faryab; Sar-e-pol; Samangan; Balkh; Jowzjan; 
Baghlan; 
Total award: $150 million; 
Natural Resource Management: Rehabilitation of the
Nawi Jurm Canal in Badakhshan province. The implementing partner
coordinated with community shura elders and local authorities to
identify high-priority projects in Badakhshan and other provinces.
A flood destroyed the Nawi Jurm Canal. Rehabilitation of the canal
benefited 1,150 families from seven villages through employment or
through access to water for irrigation. 

Sources: GAO analysis of USAID documentation; Map Resources (maps). 

[End of figure] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: GAO Analysis of Implementing Partner Performance Data: 

The following tables provide information on the annual number of 
indicators that fell into one of the eight percentage categories. 
Performance is measured by comparing results against targets. We 
assessed annual performance--the number of indicators that met or 
exceeded their target--for each of the eight programs to highlight 
improvements and declines in performance that took place in a given 
fiscal year. As shown below, the data collected were organized into 
eight categories (1) met or exceeded target, (2) achieved 76 to 99 
percent of target set, (3) achieved 51 to 75 percent of target set, 
(4) achieved 26 to 50 percent of target set, (5) achieved 1 to 25 
percent of target set, (6) achieved zero progress toward target set, 
(7) number of indicators used to assess performance, and (8) no target 
set. Based on the categorical assessment, we were able to determine 
the number of indicators that fell into one of the eight categories, 
the number of indicators with target levels reported, and the total 
number of indicators reported. For each fiscal year, the first column 
represents the number of indicators whose performance fell within an 
indicated range. The second column is a percentage of total number of 
indicators (with and without targets) that fell within an indicated 
range. Please note this percentage is based on total number of 
indicators tracked, and may differ from those in figure 8, which is 
based on total number of indicators with targets. 

Table 5: Alternative Development Program-Northeast, Annual Number of 
Indicators by Categories of Performance, FY2005 to 2008[A]: 

Percentage category: Met or exceeded target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 5; 33%; 
FY2007: 8; 53%; 
FY2008: 4; 29%; 
FY2009: NA; NA. 

Percentage category: Achieved 76%-99% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 7; 47%; 
FY2007: 3; 20%; 
FY2008: 3; 21%; 
FY2009: NA; NA. 

Percentage category: Achieved 51%-75% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 0; 0%; 
FY2007: 2; 13%; 
FY2008: 0; 0%; 
FY2009: NA; NA. 

Percentage category: Achieved 26%-50% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 2; 13%; 
FY2007: 1; 7%; 
FY2008: 4; 29%; 
FY2009: NA; NA. 

Percentage category: Achieved 1%-25% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 1; 7%; 
FY2007: 0; 0%; 
FY2008: 1; 7%; 
FY2009: NA; NA. 

Percentage category: Made 0 progress toward target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 0; 0%; 
FY2007: 1; 7%; 
FY2008: 2; 14%; 
FY2009: NA; NA. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators used to assess performance; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 15; 100%; 
FY2007: 15; 100%; 
FY2008: 14; 100%; 
FY2009: NA; NA. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators with no targets; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 0; 0%; 
FY2007: 0; 0%; 
FY2008: 0; 0%; 
FY2009: NA; NA. 

Percentage category: Total number of indicators; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 15%; 100%; 
FY2007: 15%; 100%; 
FY2008: 14%; 100%; 
FY2009: NA; NA. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

Note: The dash refers to the program being operational, but 
performance data was not available. NA is not applicable because the 
program was not operational for most of the fiscal year. 

[A] ADP-Northeast started in February 2005 and ended in February 2009. 
Performance was assessed based on those indicators with targets. 

[End of table] 

Table 6: Alternative Development Program-South, Annual Number of 
Indicators by Categories of Performance, FY2005 to 2009[A]: 

Percentage category: Met or exceeded target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 11; 79%; 
FY2007: 5; 36%; 
FY2008: 7; 26%; 
FY2009: 3; 12%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 76%-99% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 1; 7%; 
FY2007: 1; 7%; 
FY2008: 1; 4%; 
FY2009: 2; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 51%-75% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 0; 0%; 
FY2007: 2; 14%; 
FY2008: 1; 4%; 
FY2009: 0; 0. 

Percentage category: Achieved 26%-50% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 0; 0%; 
FY2007: 0; 0%; 
FY2008: 1; 4%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 1%-25% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 0; 0%; 
FY2007: 4; 29%; 
FY2008: 3; 11%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Made 0 progress toward target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 2; 14%; 
FY2007: 2; 14%; 
FY2008: 3; 11%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators used to assess performance; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 14; 100%; 
FY2007: 14; 100%; 
FY2008: 16; 59%; 
FY2009: 5; 20%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators with no targets; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 0; 0%; 
FY2007: 0; 0%; 
FY2008: 9; 36%; 
FY2009: 20; 80%. 

Percentage category: Total number of indicators; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 14; 100%; 
FY2007: 14; 100%; 
FY2008: 25; 100%; 
FY2009: 25; 100%. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

Note: The dash refers to the program being operational, but 
performance data was not available. 

[A] ADP-South started in February 2005 and ended in September 2009. 
Performance was assessed based on those indicators with targets. The 
final report for ADP-South notes that the decline in performance for 
kilometers of rural roads repaired in poppy regions was because USAID 
canceled the activities in roads construction/rehabilitation from the 
implementer's work plan in September 2007. 

[End of table] 

Table 7: Alternative Development Program-East, Annual Number of 
Indicators by Categories of Performance, FY2005 to 2009[A]: 

Percentage category: Met or exceeded target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 10; 71%; 
FY2007: 9; 69%; 
FY2008: 5; 36%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 76%-99% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 4; 29%; 
FY2007: 2; 15%; 
FY2008: 0; 0%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 51%-75% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 0; 0%; 
FY2007: 1; 8%; 
FY2008: 6; 43%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 26%-50% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 0; 0%; 
FY2007: 0; 0%; 
FY2008: 1; 7%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 1%-25% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 0; 0%; 
FY2007: 1; 8%; 
FY2008: 0; 0%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Made 0 progress toward target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 0; 0%; 
FY2007: 0; 0%; 
FY2008: 1; 7%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators used to assess performance; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 14; 100%; 
FY2007: 13; 100%; 
FY2008: 13; 93%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators with no targets; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 0; 0%; 
FY2007: 0; 0%; 
FY2008: 1; 7%; 
FY2009: 14; 100%. 

Percentage category: Total number of indicators; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2005: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2006: 14; 100%; 
FY2007: 13; 100%; 
FY2008: 14; 100%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

Note: The dash refers to the program being operational, but 
performance data was not available. 

[A] ADP-East started in February 2005 and ended in June 2009. The 
program received a no-cost extension in fiscal year 2009, however, 
USAID did not require the implementing partner to set annual targets 
for any of its indicators for fiscal year 2009 and, therefore, we 
could not determine annual performance for that year. Performance was 
assessed based on those indicators with targets. 

[End of table] 

Table 8: Accelerating Sustainable Agricultural Program, Annual Number 
of Indicators by Categories of Performance, FY2007 to 2009A: 

Percentage category: Met or exceeded target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2007: 0; 0%; 
FY2008: 8; 62%; 
FY2009: 4; 67%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 76%-99% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2007: 0; 0%; 
FY2008: 0; 0%; 
FY2009: 1; 17%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 51%-75% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2007: 0; 0%; 
FY2008: 0; 0%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 26%-50% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2007: 1; 8%; 
FY2008: 0; 0%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 1%-25% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2007: 1; 8%; 
FY2008: 0; 0%; 
FY2009: 1; 17%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators used to assess performance; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2007: 2; 15%; 
FY2008: 8; 62%; 
FY2009: 6; 100%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators with no targets; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2007: 11; 85%; 
FY2008: 5; 38%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Total number of indicators; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2007: 13; 100%; 
FY2008: 13; 100%; 
FY2009: 6; 100%. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

[A] The Accelerating Sustainable Agricultural Program started in 
November 2006 and is scheduled to end in November 2010. Performance 
was assessed based on those indicators with targets. 

[End of table] 

Table 9: Alternative Development Program-Southwest, Annual Number of 
Indicators by Categories of Performance, FY2008 and 2009[A]: 

Percentage category: Met or exceeded target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: 0; 0%; 
FY2009: 13; 62%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 76%-99% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: 1; 5%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 51%-75% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: 1; 5%; 
FY2009: 4; 19%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 26%-50% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: 3; 14%; 
FY2009: 2; 10%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 1%-25% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: 4; 19%; 
FY2009: 1; 5%. 

Percentage category: Made 0 progress toward target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: 12; 57%; 
FY2009: 1; 5%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators used to assess performance; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: 21; 100%; 
FY2009: 21; 100%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators with no targets; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: 0; 0%; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Total number of indicators; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: 21; 100%; 
FY2009: 21; 100%. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

[A] ADP-Southwest started in March 2008 and is scheduled to end in 
March 2011. Performance was assessed based on those indicators with 
targets. 

[End of table] 

Table 10: Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer, 
Annual Number of Indicators by Categories of Performance, FY2008 and 
2009[A]: 

Percentage category: Met or exceeded target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2009: 3; 60%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 76%-99% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 51%-75% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 26%-50% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 1%-25% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Made 0 progress toward target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators used to assess performance; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2009: 3; 60%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators with no targets; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2009: 2; 40%. 

Percentage category: Total number of indicators; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2008: [Empty]; [Empty]; 
FY2009: 5; 100%. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

Note: The dash refers to the program being operational, but 
performance data was not available. 

[A] The Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer 
program started in March 2008 and is scheduled to end in March 2011. 
Performance was assessed based on those indicators with targets. 

[End of table] 

Table 11: Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in 
Agriculture, Annual Number of Indicators by Categories of Performance, 
FY2009A: 

Percentage category: Met or exceeded target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 2; 20%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 76%-99% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 51%-75% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 26%-50% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 1%-25% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Made 0 progress toward target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators used to assess performance; 
FY2009: 2; 20%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators with no targets; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 8; 80%. 

Percentage category: Total number of indicators; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 10; 100%. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

[A] The Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture 
program started in September 2008 and ended in August 2009. 
Performance was assessed based on those indicators with targets. 

[End of table] 

Table 12: Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives-North, East, and 
West, Annual Number of Indicators by Categories of Performance, 
FY2009A: 

Percentage category: Met or exceeded target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 7; 41%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 76%-99% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 1; 6%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 51%-75% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 0; 0%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 26%-50% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 2; 12%. 

Percentage category: Achieved 1%-25% of target set; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 3; 18%. 

Percentage category: Made 0 progress toward target; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 3; 18%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators used to assess performance; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 16; 94%. 

Percentage category: Number of indicators with no targets; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 1; 6%. 

Percentage category: Total number of indicators; 
Number of indicators and percentage that fell within a percentage 
category: 
FY2009: 17; 100%. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

[A] The Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives-North, East, and West 
program started in March 2009 and is scheduled to end in March 2014. 
Performance was assessed based on those indicators with targets. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix V: Eight USAID Agricultural Programs, Annual Targets, 
Results, and Percentage of Targets Met, for the Latest Year: 

The tables below provide information on annual targets, results, and 
percentage of each target met for the eight programs we reviewed. The 
data provided is based on the latest year where performance data was 
available. 

Table 13: ADP-Northeast Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2008: 

Indicator: 
1. Number of hectares devoted to licit agricultural production; 
Target: 10,000; 
Result: 0; 
Percentage of target met: 0%. 

Indicator: 
2. Change in production of selected high-value agricultural products 
(by percentage); 
Target: 5%; 
Result: 1%; 
Percentage of target met: 20%. 

Indicator: 
3. Full-time/permanent jobs created through the expansion of licit 
activities; 
Target: 475; 
Result: 0; 
Percentage of target met: 0%. 

Indicator: 
4. Number of full-time-equivalent jobs created through the expansion 
of licit activities; 
Target: 4,000; 
Result: 3,082; 
Percentage of target met: 77%. 

Indicator: 
5. Number of seasonal (noncash-for-work) employment created through 
the expansion of licit activities; 
Target: 3,000; 
Result: 2,840; 
Percentage of target met: 95%. 

Indicator: 
6. Kilometers of irrigation and drainage canals and karezes; 
Target: 21; 
Result: 35; 
Percentage of target met: 164%. 

Indicator: 
7. Kilometers of rural roads repaired in poppy regions; 
Target: 220; 
Result: 79; 
Percentage of target met: 36%. 

Indicator: 
8. Hectares of improved irrigation as a result of ADP infrastructure 
works; 
Target: 4,000; 
Result: 4,455; 
Percentage of target met: 111%. 

Indicator: 
9. Amount paid in cash for work in ADP programs in U.S. dollars; 
Target: $1,594,891; 
Result: $473,582; 
Percentage of target met: 30%. 

Indicator: 
10. Number of Afghans paid through cash-for-work salaries; 
Target: 21,762; 
Result: 8,595; 
Percentage of target met: 39%. 

Indicator: 
11. Total labor days for cash for work; 
Target: 320,310; 
Result: 93,600; 
Percentage of target met: 29%. 

Indicator: 
12. Number of Afghans trained in business skills; 
Target: 1,200; 
Result: 1,191; 
Percentage of target met: 99%. 

Indicator: 
13. Number of farmers trained in agricultural practices in targeted 
poppy provinces under ADP; 
Target: 35,782; 
Result: 77,172; 
Percentage of target met: 216%. 

Indicator: 
14. Number of farmers receiving seed and fertilizer; 
Target: 2,838; 
Result: 15,610; 
Percentage of target met: 550%. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

[End of table] 

Table 14: ADP-South Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2009: 

Indicator: 
1. Number of full-time-equivalent jobs created through the expansion 
of licit activities/seasonal jobs; 
Target: 22,507; 
Result: 106,174; 
Percentage of target met: 472%. 

Indicator: 
2. Increased sales of licit farm and nonfarm products in U.S. 
government-assisted areas over previous years; 
Target: $41,089,158; 
Result: $131,082,700; 
Percentage of target met: 319%. 

Indicator: 
3. Number of farmers under licit contracts; 
Target: 20,000; 
Result: 18,633; 
Percentage of target met: 9%3. 

Indicator: 
4. Farmers trained in business skills; 
Target: 1,500; 
Result: 1,712; 
Percentage of target met: 114%. 

Indicator: 
5. Number of businesses assisted; 
Target: 20; 
Result: 19; 
Percentage of target met: 9%5. 

Indicator: 
6. Percentage of clusters (economic areas) that meet standards target; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 0; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
7. Number of hectares devoted to licit agricultural production; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 437; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
8. Change in production of selected high-value agricultural products 
in U.S. dollars; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 0; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
9. Full-time jobs created through the expansion of licit activities; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 0; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
10. Kilometers of irrigation and drainage canals and karezes; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 0; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
11. Kilometers of rural roads repaired in poppy regions; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 0; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
12. Hectares of improved irrigation as a result of ADP infrastructure 
works; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 32,876; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
13. Amount paid in cash for work in ADP programs; 
Target: NT; 
Result: $30,678,718; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
14. Afghans paid through cash-for-work salaries; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 4,403; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
15. Total labor days for cash for work; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 5,826,465; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
16. Afghans trained in business skills; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 598; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
17. Farmers trained in agricultural practices in targeted poppy 
provinces under ADP; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 16,601; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
18. Farmers receiving seed and fertilizer; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 19,356; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
19. Number of hectares devoted to licit agricultural production; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 23,017; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
20. Number of rural households benefiting directly from U.S.-
government interventions in project area; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 19,194; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
21. Number of individuals who have received U.S.-government supported 
short-term agricultural productivity training; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 16,601; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
22. Amount of exports; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 5,712; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
23. Value of exports; 
Target: NT; 
Result: $20,597,701; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
24. Number of trees planted and maintained; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 0; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
25. Value of trees planted; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 0; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

Note: NT indicates annual targets were not established. NA is not 
applicable because performance--the extent to which targets were met-- 
could not be determined. 

[End of table] 

Table 15: ADP-East Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2008 and 
FY2009: 

Indicator: 
1. Number of hectares devoted to licit agricultural production; 
2008 target: 10,000; 
2008 result: 4,952; 
Percentage of target met: 50%; 
2009 result: 4,071. 

Indicator: 
2. Change in production of selected high-value agricultural products 
in U.S. dollars; 
2008 target: $19,400,000; 
2008 result: $32,290,279; 
Percentage of target met: 166%; 
2009 result: $4,941,181. 

Indicator: 
3. Number of full-time-equivalent jobs created through the expansion 
of licit activities; 
2008 target: 4,500; 
2008 result: 2,633; 
Percentage of target met: 59%; 
2009 result: 874. 

Indicator: 
4. Number of seasonal (noncash-for-work) employment created through 
the expansion of licit activities; 
2008 target: 1000; 
2008 result: 0; 
Percentage of target met: 0%; 
2009 result: 2,016. 

Indicator: 
5. Kilometers of irrigation and drainage canals and karezes; 
2008 target: 50; 
2008 result: 107; 
Percentage of target met: 214%; 
2009 result: 4. 

Indicator: 
6. Kilometers of rural roads repaired in poppy regions; 
2008 target: 140; 
2008 result: 167; 
Percentage of target met: 120%; 
2009 result: 67. 

Indicator: 
7. Hectares of improved irrigation as a result of ADP infrastructure 
works; 
2008 target: 6,000; 
2008 result: 4,347; 
Percentage of target met: 72%; 
2009 result: 2,036. 

Indicator: 
8. Amount paid in cash for work for ADP programs in U.S. dollars; 
2008 target: $2,500,000; 
2008 result: $2,746,994; 
Percentage of target met: 110%; 
2009 result: $1,222,974. 

Indicator: 
9. Afghans paid through cash-for-work salaries; 
2008 target: 10,000; 
2008 result: 6,055; 
Percentage of target met: 61%; 
2009 result: 2,855. 

Indicator: 
10. Total labor days for cash for work; 
2008 target: 1,000,000; 
2008 result: 634,102; 
Percentage of target met: 63%; 
2009 result: 375,262. 

Indicator: 
11. Afghans trained in business skills; 
2008 target: 1,800; 
2008 result: 1,209; 
Percentage of target met: 67%; 
2009 result: 815. 

Indicator: 
12. Farmers trained in agricultural practices in targeted poppy 
provinces under ADP; 
2008 target: 15,000; 
2008 result: 11,295; 
Percentage of target met: 75%; 
2009 result: 36,065. 

Indicator: 
13. Farmers receiving seed and fertilizer; 
2008 target: [Empty]; 
2008 result: 55,946; 
Percentage of target met: 100%; 
2009 result: 23,715. 

Indicator: 
14. Number of rural households benefiting directly from U.S.-
government assistance; 
2008 target: NA; 
2008 result: NA; 
Percentage of target met: NA; 
2009 result: 38,586. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

Note: The implementing partners for ADP-East received a no-cost 
extension in fiscal year 2009. USAID did not require the implementing 
partner to establish new targets for the extension period. NA is not 
applicable because the indicator had not been established until fiscal 
year 2009. 

[End of table] 

Table 16: Accelerated Sustainable Agriculture Program Targets, 
Results, and Performance for FY2009: 

Indicator: 
1. Increased sales of licit farm and nonfarm products in U.S. 
government-assisted areas over previous year in U.S. dollars; 
Target: $5,200,000; 
Result: $7,277,773; 
Percentage of target met: 140%. 

Indicator: 
2. Number of full-time equivalent jobs created; 
Target: 2,600; 
Result: 3,624; 
Percentage of target met: 139%. 

Indicator: 
3. Value of exports (marble, carpets, horticulture) in U.S. dollars; 
Target: $3,200,000; 
Result: $2,581,897; 
Percentage of target met: 81%. 

Indicator: 
4. Value of exports (marble, carpets, horticulture) in metric tons; 
Target: 1,800; 
Result: 407; 
Percentage of target met: 23%. 

Indicator: 
5. Number of rural households benefiting directly from U.S. government 
interventions/number of families benefited; 
Target: 245,000; 
Result: 403,795; 
Percentage of target met: 165%. 

Indicator: 
6. Number of additional hectares under improved technologies or 
management practices as a result of U.S. government assistance; 
Target: 3,000; 
Result: 19,454; 
Percentage of target met: 648%. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

[End of table] 

Table 17: ADP-Southwest Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2009: 

Indicator: 
1. Volume in metric tons of sales of products sold by farmers in 
target value chains; 
Target: 1,679; 
Result: 4,671; 
Percentage of target met: 278%. 

Indicator: 
2. Value (in U.S. dollars at a rate of 50 Afghanis/U.S. dollar) of 
sales of products sold by farmers in target value chains; 
Target: $839,500; 
Result: $953,907; 
Percentage of target met: 114%. 

Indicator: 
3. Number of full-time-equivalent jobs created by U.S. government 
alternative development/livelihood activities; 
Target: 135; 
Result: 499; 
Percentage of target met: 370%. 

Indicator: 
4. Number of women's new and existing organizations/associations 
assisted as a result of U.S. government-supported interventions; 
Target: 49; 
Result: 88; 
Percentage of target met: 180%. 

Indicator: 
5. Number of families benefited by alternative development activities 
in U.S. government-assisted areas; 
Target: 12,696; 
Result: 56,399; 
Percentage of target met: 444%. 

Indicator: 
6. Number of hectares under improved natural resources management; 
Target: 4,630; 
Result: 24,150; 
Percentage of target met: 522%. 

Indicator: 
7. Number of structures built or rehabilitated that support value 
chains; 
Target: 58; 
Result: 25; 
Percentage of target met: 43%. 

Indicator: 
8. Number of families in clusters participating in infrastructure 
activities; 
Target: 1,800; 
Result: 3,196; 
Percentage of target met: 178%. 

Indicator: 
9. Percentage of trained farmers who adopt a new technology or 
management practice; 
Target: 75; 
Result: 130; 
Percentage of target met: 173%. 

Indicator: 
10. Number of hectares converted from nonvalue chain crops or unused 
land to supported value chains; 
Target: 1,860; 
Result: 3,648; 
Percentage of target met: 196%. 

Indicator: 
11. Number of individuals (male/female) who have received U.S. 
government-supported short-term agricultural productivity training; 
Target: 4,086; 
Result: 7,662; 
Percentage of target met: 188%. 

Indicator: 
12. Number of new technologies or management practices made available; 
Target: 23; 
Result: 17; 
Percentage of target met: 74%. 

Indicator: 
13. Number of hectares of alternative crops targeted by U.S. 
government programs under cultivation; 
Target: 6,150; 
Result: 4,112; 
Percentage of target met: 67%. 

Indicator: 
14. Number of hectares under improved technologies or management 
practices; 
Target: 4,550; 
Result: 4,100; 
Percentage of target met: 90%. 

Indicator: 
15. Number of producer organization, water user associations, and 
community-based organizations receiving U.S. government assistance; 
Target: 16; 
Result: 101; 
Percentage of target met: 631%. 

Indicator: 
16. Number of farmers given advance growing contracts for the next 
season; 
Target: 370; 
Result: 142; 
Percentage of target met: 38%. 

Indicator: 
17. Number of public-private partnerships formed as a result U.S. 
government assistance; 
Target: 3; 
Result: 2; 
Percentage of target met: 67%. 

Indicator: 
18. Number of collection and marketing point structures built or 
rehabilitated (market, storage, warehousing, livestock yards, etc.); 
Target: 6; 
Result: 20; 
Percentage of target met: 333%. 

Indicator: 
19. Number of value-adding technologies or products developed and 
utilized by small microenterprises (cratebuilding, trellising, market-
level storage, processing, etc.); 
Target: 7; 
Result: 12; 
Percentage of target met: 171%. 

Indicator: 
20. Number of microenterprises participating in U.S. government-
assisted value chains; 
Target: 10; 
Result: 1; 
Percentage of target met: 10%. 

Indicator: 
21. Number of small microenterprises receiving U.S. government-
supported assistance to access bank loans or private equity; 
Target: 6; 
Result: 0; 
Percentage of target met: 0%. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

[End of table] 

Table 18: Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer 
Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2009: 

Indicator: 
1. Increase in water use efficiencies at selected farms; 
Target: NT; 
Result: NR; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
2. Increase in crops' yield due to new technologies at selected farms; 
Target: NT; 
Result: NR; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
3. Number of male staff members of the Ministry of Agriculture, 
Irrigation, and Livestock; 
the Ministry of Energy and Water; 
and universities trained in water and agricultural technologies; 
Target: 237; 
Result: 242; 
Percentage of target met: 102%. 

Indicator: 
4. Number of women trained in agricultural activities; 
Target: 60; 
Result: 103; 
Percentage of target met: 172%. 

Indicator: 
5. Number of jobs created through skill enhancement; 
Target: 297; 
Result: 516; 
Percentage of target met: 174%. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

Note: NT indicates annual targets were not established. NR indicates 
annual results were not reported. NA is not applicable because 
performance--the extent to which targets were met--could not be 
determined. 

[End of table] 

Table 19: Afghanistan Vouchers for Increased Production in Agriculture 
programs Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2009: 

Indicator: 
1. Number of beneficiaries targeted in households; 
Target: 297,000; 
Result: 296,920; 
Percentage of target met: 100%. 

Indicator: 
2. Actual number of hectares planted with distributed seed; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 295,419; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
3. Number and percent of voucher recipient farmers with sufficient 
inputs to plant fields for next agricultural seasons; 
Target: NT; 
Result: NR; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
4. Number of farmers trained to produce wheat seed; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 110,752; 
Percentage of target met: [Empty]. 

Indicator: 
5. Number of people receiving vouchers; 
Target: 297,000; 
Result: 297,000; 
Percentage of target met: 100%. 

Indicator: 
6. Number of merchants participating in the voucher activity; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 293; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
7. Percentage of vouchers redeemed (number of vouchers ); 
Target: NT; 
Result: 100%; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
8. Total monetary value of vouchers redeemed in U.S. dollars; 
Target: NT; 
Result: $35,648,100; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
9. Percentage of the types of goods procured (according to weight in 
metric tons)--fertilizer total; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 10,347 MT; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Indicator: 
10. Percentage of the types of goods procured (according to weight in 
metric tons)--seed total; 
Target: NT; 
Result: 32,813 MT; 
Percentage of target met: NA. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

Note: NT indicates annual targets were not established. NR indicates 
annual results were not reported. NA is not applicable because 
performance--the extent to which targets were met--could not be 
determined. 

[End of table] 

Table 20: Incentives Driving Economic Alternatives-North, East, and 
West Targets, Results, and Performance for FY2009: 

Indicator: 
1. Number of rural households benefiting directly from U.S. government 
intervention in Afghanistan; 
Target: 20,216; 
Result: 110,719; 
Percentage of target met: 548%. 

Indicator: 
2. Number of hectares devoted to licit agriculture; 
Target: 3,257; 
Result: 573; 
Percentage of target met: 18%. 

Indicator: 
3. Number of full-time-equivalent jobs created by U.S. government 
sponsored alternative development or alternative livelihood activities; 
Target: 7,238; 
Result: 2,434; 
Percentage of target met: 34%. 

Indicator: 
4. Number of individuals who have received U.S. government-supported 
agriculture productivity training; 
Target: 10,902; 
Result: 106,552; 
Percentage of target met: 977%. 

Indicator: 
5. Number of livestock under increased technology and management; 
Target: 73,200; 
Result: 0; 
Percentage of target met: 0%. 

Indicator: 
6. Number of individuals receiving agricultural inputs; 
Target: 15,829; 
Result: 1,937; 
Percentage of target met: 12%. 

Indicator: 
7. Hectares of land returned to irrigation based on 
repaired/constructed systems; 
Target: 980; 
Result: 16; 
Percentage of target met: 2%. 

Indicator: 
8. Number of people receiving off-farm business skills training; 
Target: 36; 
Result: 493; 
Percentage of target met: 1,369%. 

Indicator: 
9. Number of government line staff trained with increased professional 
and/or technical capacity; 
Target: 8; 
Result: 31; 
Percentage of target met: 388%. 

Indicator: 
10. Number of households directly benefiting from infrastructure 
projects including roads, market centers, cold chain, and storage 
facilities projects; 
Target: 500; 
Result: 427; 
Percentage of target met: 85%. 

Indicator: 
11. Dollar value of direct investment leveraged in local business; 
Target: $40,000; 
Result: $0; 
Percentage of target met: 0%. 

Indicator: 
12. Dollar value of grants local entities receive; 
Target: $45,000; 
Result: $0; 
Percentage of target met: 0%. 

Indicator: 
13. Number of farmers under new, licit contracts; 
Target: 1,260; 
Result: 1,279; 
Percentage of target met: 102%. 

Indicator: 
14. Total U.S.-dollar value of international exports of targeted 
agricultural commodities as a result of U.S. government assistance; 
Target: $360,000; 
Result: $1,281,477; 
Percentage of target met: 356%. 

Indicator: 
15. Number of off-farm new micro-and small microenterprises receiving 
technical assistance; 
Target: 19; 
Result: 6; 
Percentage of target met: 32%. 

Indicator: 
16. Number of associations assisted as a result of U.S. government 
assistance; 
Target: 3; 
Result: 3; 
Percentage of target met: 100%. 

Source: GAO analysis of implementing partner data submitted to USAID. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix VI: Comments from the U.S. Agency for International 
Development: 

Note: GAO comments supplementing those in the report text appear at 
the end of this appendix. 

USAID: 
From The American People: 

July 1, 2010: 

Charles M. Johnson. Jr.	
Director, International Affairs and Trade: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 
	
Dear Mr. Johnson: 

I am pleased to provide the U.S. Agency for International 
Development's formal response to the GAO draft report entitled 
"Afghanistan Development: Enhancements to Performance Management and 
Evaluation Efforts Could Improve USAID's Agricultural Programs" (GAO-
10-368). 

The enclosed USAID comments arc provided for incorporation with this 
letter as an appendix to the final report. 

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the GAO draft report and 
for the courtesies extended by your staff in the conduct of this audit 
review. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

[Illegible], for: 

Drew W. Luten: 
Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator: 
Bureau for Management: 

Enclosure: as: 

[End of letter] 

USAID Comments On GAO Draft Report No. GAO-10-368 (Engagement code 
320662): 

General comments: 

Main Comment: Recommendations: USAID requests that the five (5) 
recommendations made (as well as the single summary recommendation on 
the Highlights page) be crafted in such a way as to include reference 
to the new Automated Directive System (ADS) Guidance on Monitoring in 
High 'Threat Environments (Attached). This was formally signed by the 
USAID Acting Administrator in October 2008 as interim guidance and 
that was more broadly announced within USAID in December 2009. This 
guidance provides specific tools and alternative approved performance 
monitoring methods for high threat environments such as Afghanistan, 
Pakistan, Iraq, and West Bank/Gaza for programs funded with 
Development Assistance (DA) and Economic Support Funds (ESF) funds. 
This policy guidance was created in recognition that some of the 
requirements in a normal development context are not possible within a 
kinetic context and reflects accepted common practices utilized in 
Afghanistan by USAID programs. [See comment 1] 

In addition to this guidance for monitoring DA and ESF resources in 
High Threat Environments, in early 2009, USAID took steps to increase 
the use of the Office of Transitions Initiatives (OTT) and the Office 
of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) in recognition of the need for 
more flexible stabilization programming and funding in Afghanistan. 
USAID now has staff on long term assignment to Afghanistan for both 
Oil and OFDA, Further, USAID established a formal Stabilization Unit 
for work throughout the country. In most countries where USAID works 
(other than the new Critical Priority Posts). development assistance 
is slowed or halted and USAID humanitarian, disaster and transitions 
offices step in since they do not have to comply with statutes and 
regulations that would inhibit timely assistance (e.g. have 
notwithstanding authority to bypass certain statutes and regulations). 
Whether this "notwithstanding' authority extends to standard 
monitoring and evaluation guidance is unclear, but financial 
accountability should be maintained and include monitoring and 
reporting. However, standard practice and grant guidelines for USAID 
humanitarian, disaster and transitions offices include requirements 
for fewer numbers of indicators as well as indicators that are more 
input oriented and thus more easily monitored. [See comment 2] 

Recommendation 1: We recommend the Administrator of USAID take steps 
to ensure the approval of implementing partner performance indicators. 

Status: USAID concurs. While USAID agrees that approval of 
implementing partners' performance indicators is necessary, under 
normal circumstances, USAID does not typically have any problems 
finalizing approval of implementing partner performance indicators. 
[See comment 3] However, especially for those partners working in the 
more highly kinetic areas, the establishment of targets presents a 
problem. Contractors feel the need for extremely conservative targets 
based on the likelihood that program implementation will be delayed 
due to direct attack or other security concerns. (This can he seen 
with the increasing uptick in violence in the south in early 2007 and 
ADP-South's reluctance in finalize their PMP as that began to happen.) 
In these circumstances. IISAID has taken steps to ensure that programs 
are monitored by the Contracting Officer's Technical Representative 
(COTR) or the Agreement Officer's Technical Representative (AOTR) on a 
biweekly basis and results are monitored in relationship to the 
expected achievements outlined in the design of the program and in 
relation to the security reports provided by USA ID field staff as 
well as military and civilian security specialists. If adequate 
results are not achieved, given the funding being expended. the 
security situation. and historical trends and original expected 
outcomes. partners arc instructed to increase achievement of =nits. If 
they arc consistently unable to do so the program is closed out. (See 
the ACDIVOCA P2K program working in the Paktika/Paktia/Khost/Chazni 
area that was closed in late 2008 for just such issues among others.) 
Finalizing and formalizing implementing partner performance indicators 
in this context is challenging. however. performance expectations are 
routinely but informally reviewed and assessed based on the changing 
context whether or not a formal performance management plan has been 
approved. USAID will augment this review process with a new enhanced 
yearly review that includes Embassy participation. [See comment 4] 

Recommendation 2: We recommend the Administrator of USAID take steps 
to ensure that implementing partners establish targets for all 
performance indicators. 

Status: USAID concurs, See Status for Recommendation # I above. In 
addition, some performance indicators that were developed at the start 
of a project are sometimes found to be inappropriate once the project 
gets started or are found not to be easily and consistently 
measureable (again, given security concerns or shifts in USG 
priorities such as shift in resources from North to East). USA 
ID/Afghanistan is currently finalizing a mission-wide PMP which will 
serve as a basis for revising partners' performance indicators and 
targets for these. Performance monitoring strategies will incorporate 
the new alternative monitoring methods described in the interim ADS 
guidance for High Threat Environments. [See comment 5] 

Recommendation 3: We recommend the Administrator of USAID take steps 
to consistently analyze and interpret program data, such as 
determining the extent to which annual targets are met. 

Status: USAID concurs. However. USAID/Afghanistan routinely holds 
extensive Portfolio Reviews twice yearly at which each sector team is 
required to review every program and present results, 
pipeline/expenditure data and any critical issues or concerns to the 
Mission (and sometimes broadly Embassy) management. These Portfolio 
Reviews go in depth into each program and these reviews conclude with 
specific and documented recommendations as to what major corrective 
steps need to he taken (if any) for each program within each sector's 
portfolio of programs/projects/activities. (See Status for 
Recommendation 5 below for more details on portfolio reviews.) Within 
the past year as well, the State Department and USA ID have instituted 
a yearly review process that is even more explicitly targeted at 
termination of nonperforming programs. Procedures are in place within 
the USAID Afghanistan Office of Acquisition and Assistance (CAA) to 
respond to reviews and to document performance deficiencies. 
USAID/Afghanistan's Office of Program and Project Development (OPPD) 
is also now in the final stage of the roll out of our Afghan Info 
electronic data base, and has recently completed training of 
implementing partners on the use of this system and is now monitoring 
their ability and performance in the routine uploading of results. 

Recommendation 4: We recommend the Administrator of USAID take steps 
to make use of results from evaluations of its agricultural programs. 

Status: USAID concurs. However, as pan of the design process for any 
USAID program, any and all assessments arc utilized by the 
solicitation design and evaluation teams. Since new awards should he 
in place shortly before or just as older programs arc ending. it is 
not possible to use the final assessment reports of these specific 
programs in the design process. Nevertheless, these reports are used 
for design of subsequent programs. For example. USAID receives 
proposals for funding an increasing number of cold storage systems for 
various parts of Afghanistan and the final evaluations for the last 
program in 2006 that did large numbers of cold storage units have been 
used not only to temper these requests but to inform other civilian 
and military players as to when such systems are appropriate and when 
they are not. The ADP programs' implementing partners had large 
numbers of staff who had worked on these earlier programs and while 
they did not yet have a copy of the evaluation. they held the 
institutional knowledge that led the ADP programs to avoid similar non-
sustainable cold storage systems but rather to focus on cool storage 
and improving marketing channels. Critical to this recommendation. USA 
ID recently completed drafts of formal final evaluations of the three 
completed ADP programs and these reports are being used by the 
technical evaluation committees as part of their review of proposals 
for new regional agricultural development programs. [See comment 6] 

Recommendation 5: We recommend the Administrator of USAID take steps 
to address preservation of institutional knowledge, including 
directing the USAID Mission to Afghanistan to document semi-annual 
reviews. 

Status: USAID concurs. However, USAID Afghanistan's Office of Program 
and Project Development (OPPD) holds semi-annual portfolio reviews and 
the documents related to these are kept in the USAID Program Office 
electronic tiles (specifically at P:\PPDO
PUBLIC\PORTFOLIO REVIEWS). Currently on file in this location are the 
documents related to portfolio reviews held in 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008 
and 2009 along with the ADS guidance on portfolio review requirements 
and general guidance memos on how the reviews are to be structured 
uniformly across the Mission. The Mission will provide samples of 
these portfolio review documents for review by GAO. The specific 
guidance from the February 2009 portfolio review is a good example of 
the type of data requested for these annual or semi-annual reviews: 
[See comment 7] 

(1) Program Performance. Provide a brief sector performance overview 
based on the 2008 performance report submitted. Offices are to: (a) 
present a brief overview of each sector and/or area it represents 
(Agriculture. Alternative Development. Roads, Power, Water.
Economic Growth, Education, PRT, Health, ANDS/Aid Effectiveness, 
Gender, Democracy, Rule of Law, and Environment); (b) give baseline 
data/information and identify major successes that have occurred in 
each sector during the 2002-2008 period: and (c) identify all existing 
projects that are encountering implementation issues, describing the 
issue(s) and proposed resolutions. (30 minutes) 

(2) Financial Performance. Report on the status of sub-obligations and 
burn rates/disbursement. Discuss (any) significant pipeline levels and 
recommended/planned actions. (45 minutes) 

(3) The Way Forward (2009-2013). Identify and briefly describe 
projected projects/activities, estimated costs. and planned start 
dates to implement Strategy-lite. (30 minutes) 

(4) Management Challenges. Highlight all major management challenges 
occurring and projected over the next year. (10 minutes) 

(5) Follow-up. Review the follow-up actions from the July 2008 
portfolio reviews. (5 minutes) 

USAID/Afghanistan also engages in the annual standard Federal 
Managers' Financial Integrity Act (FMFIA) process in which each office 
identifies potential problems and risks to implementation. financial 
management, contracting and other core USAID functions. Specifically. 
the FMFIA requires USAID and all federal government agencies to 
establish and maintain effective systems of internal controls through 
ongoing evaluations and assessments. It also requires USAID to 
continuously evaluate the adequacy of its internal control mechanisms 
and provide assurance that resources are used in a manner that is 
consistent with the Agency's mission, goals and objectives and do not 
result in a conflict of interest: assets are safeguarded against 
waste. fraud, loss. unauthorized use, or misappropriation; obligations 
and costs are in compliance with applicable law and do not violate 
statutory and regulatory requirements. and revenues and expenditures 
applicable to Agency operations arc properly recorded and accounted 
for to permit the preparation of accounts and reliable and timely 
financial and statistical information to maintain accountability over 
assets and support management decision making. All FMF[A tracking 
documents are maintained by USAID Afghanistan OFM tat PAFM PUBLICS, 
FMFIA). The FY 2010 FMFIA process has begun and is expected to be 
completed by the first week of August 2010. The development of the ADS 
guidance for Monitoring in High Threat Environments was specifically 
developed as an outcome of this review process to address a material 
weakness that was reported by USAID to the MCRC in the FMFIA in 2008. 

USAID/Afghanistan concurs with the need to improve preservation of 
institutional knowledge and is working to augment this process along 
with the Embassy's larger efforts on knowledge management. 

* USAID/Afghanistan broadly and the Office of Agriculture (OAG) more 
specifically continue to help reduce the impact of high expatriate 
staff turnover by training and building the capacity of our Afghan 
staff who maintain much of the institutional memory and consistency 
from year to year. 

* USAID has attempted to increase the overlap between expatriate stuff 
rotating in and out (for example, the current Deputy Director of OAG 
had three weeks of overlap with her predecessor in 2008). however, due 
to housing constraints on the USAID and US Embassy compound we have 
been explicitly limited to no more than seven days of overlap unless 
housing is available. OAG is working to increase the overlap of staff 
expected in the coming months to one month or more. (e.g. with the 
possible availability of the replacement for our Senior Agriculture 
Advisor two months earlier than expected, OAG is seeking means to 
facilitate and accommodate his early arrival to increase an 
overlapping transition). 

The following are GAO's comments on the U.S. Agency for International 
Development's (USAID) letter dated July 1, 2010. 

GAO Comments: 

1. GAO modified the report to reflect the new Automated Directives 
System Guidance on Monitoring in High Threat Environments. However, 
GAO would note that the Mission to Afghanistan that GAO was directed 
to for all inquiries was not aware of the December 2009 guidance until 
June 2010. In addition our application of the Automated Directives 
System criteria was consistent with the new guidance and required only 
minor technical revisions. 

2. None of the agricultural programs included in GAO's review were 
Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) or Office of U.S. Foreign 
Disaster Assistance (OFDA) programs. 

3. USAID's Automated Directives System generally requires the same 
procedures for a conflict zone that it requires elsewhere or else 
documentation specifically describing when those procedures are not 
followed. The new guidance does not provide any exemptions with regard 
to approval of monitoring and evaluation plans and the establishment 
of indicators and targets, which USAID did not consistently approve. 

4. Without approved indicator targets, it is unclear how performance 
can be reviewed or assessed. 

5. GAO acknowledges that USAID is currently developing a PMP on page 
14 of the report. 

6. At the time of our review, USAID had completed a one midterm 
evaluation covering three of the eight programs we reviewed. USAID 
staff, however, were unable to indicate how the findings of the 
evaluation were used to inform the design of subsequent programs. 
Additionally, the midterm evaluation included recommendations for 
improving the three programs, but USAID staff were unable to comment 
on how the recommendations of the evaluation were implemented. 

7. GAO removed its mention of the semiannual reviews from the 
recommendation based on additional information provided. 

[End of section] 

Appendix VII: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Charles Michael Johnson Jr., (202) 512-7331 or johnsoncm@gao.gov]. 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, the following staff 
contributed to the report: Hynek Kalkus, Assistant Director; Thomas 
Costa; Farahnaaz Khakoo; Bruce Kutnick; Sara Olds; Steven Banovac; 
Joseph Carney; Elizabeth Curda; Mark Dowling; Gena Evans; Etana 
Finkler; Justin Fisher; Cindy Gilbert; Gloria Mahnad; Kara Marshall; 
Jackie Nowicki; Sheila Rajabiun; and Jena Sinkfield. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] Implementing partners are firms, including nonprofit 
organizations, which carry out contracts, cooperative agreements, and 
grants. GAO uses the term "program" to refer to individual awards 
carried out by implementing partners. 

[2] The government of Afghanistan, with the assistance of the European 
Commission, conducted the National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment 
2007/8: A Profile of Afghanistan (January 2010) over a 12-month period 
that crossed both the 2007 and 2008 calendar years. When we cite 
information from this assessment, we refer to the time period as 2007/ 
2008. 

[3] One hectare equals 2.47 acres. 

[4] Sorghum is a cereal grain used around the world in porridge, 
bread, couscous, and animal feed. 

[5] USAID officials noted that as of April 2010, the fiscal year 2010 
funds were still going through the approval process between USAID and 
Congress. 

[6] GAO, Afghanistan Reconstruction: Deteriorating Security and 
Limited Resources Have Impeded Progress; Improvements in U.S. Strategy 
Needed, [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-04-403] 
(Washington, D.C.: June 2, 2004). 

[7] GAO, Afghanistan Drug Control: Despite Improved Efforts, 
Deteriorating Security Threatens Success of U.S. Goals, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-78] (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 15, 
2006). 

[8] In addition, since 2005, the United States has provided more than 
$2.5 billion in support of other counternarcotics-related programs in 
Afghanistan, including those involving elimination and eradication, 
interdiction, rule of law and justice, public information, and drug 
demand reduction efforts. See GAO, Afghanistan Drug Control: Strategy 
Evolving and Progress Reported, but Interim Performance Targets and 
Evaluation of Justice Reform Efforts Needed, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-291] (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 9, 
2010) for additional details on these efforts. 

[9] USAID funded 41 agricultural programs between 2002 and March 31, 
2010. We have focused our review on eight of these programs. 

[10] USAID's Automated Directives System is the agency's directives 
management program. It includes agency policy directives, required 
procedures, and optional material. Performance management and 
evaluation information is detailed in Chapter 203: Assessing and 
Learning. 

[11] The four Mission strategic objectives include (1) a thriving 
licit economy led by the private sector, (2) a democratic government 
with broad citizen participation, (3) a better educated and healthier 
population, and (4) program support, enhancing Mission development 
results. 

[12] USAID does not yet have plans to evaluate the Incentives Driving 
Economic Alternatives-North, East, and West program initiated in 2009. 

[13] The specific requirements for each program vary according to the 
terms established in their grants, cooperative agreements, or 
contracts. 

[14] For example, in a 2008 report, USAID's Regional Inspector General 
found that USAID delayed its approval of ADP-South's 2006 work plan by 
9 months, and the delay became a contributing factor to the program 
not achieving its planned activities for the first year of operation. 
See USAID Office of Inspector General, Audit of USAID/Afghanistan's 
Alternative Development Programs--Southern Region, Audit Report No. 
5-306-08-003-P (Manila, Philippines, Mar. 17, 2008). 

[15] Implementing partners reported targets and results for a common 
set of indicators in quarterly reports following the issuance of the 
2006-2008 USAID Mission PMP. 

[16] Program reports include weekly or biweekly, quarterly, annual, 
and other reports, such as the PMP. 

[17] Quarterly reports contain qualitative information about program 
implementation and quantitative data on progress toward established 
targets for indicators over the last quarter and often over the life 
of the program. Some implementing partners were also required to 
submit annual reports for monitoring officials' review. 

[18] We did not collect USAID site visit reports for those 
agricultural programs outside the scope of our review. 

[19] The October 2008 guidance disseminated in December 2009 included 
a number of the same alternative monitoring methods. 

[20] The Foreign Assistance Coordination and Tracking System is used 
to collect foreign assistance planning and reporting data, including 
plans for implementing current-year appropriated budgets and 
performance planning and reporting data from the Department of State 
and USAID. USAID submitted fiscal year 2009 performance data to the 
Foreign Assistance and Coordination and Tracking System for its 
programs in Afghanistan, including its agricultural programs. 

[21] USAID posted the evaluation to its Development Experience 
Clearinghouse, [hyperlink, http://dec.usaid.gov/], which is an online 
resource for USAID's program and technical documentation. 

[22] We categorized the performance data we collected for each of the 
eight programs in our review into eight categories: (1) met or 
exceeded target, (2) achieved 76 to 99 percent of target set, (3) 
achieved 51 to 75 percent of target set, (4) achieved 26 to 50 percent 
of target set, (5) achieved 1 to 25 percent of target set, (6) 
achieved zero progress toward target set, (7) number of indicators 
used to assess performance, and (8) no target set. 

[23] As noted earlier, in fiscal year 2005, performance achieved by 
three of the alternative-development programs--ADP-East, ADP- 
Northeast, and ADP-South--could not be determined due to a lack of 
results reported against targets. Additionally, during fiscal year 
2009, two of the three programs had either ended or performance could 
not be determined due to a lack of annual targets. Therefore, the 
analysis of these two programs is based on 3 years of available data 
(2006 through 2008) rather than 5 years. 

[24] In fiscal year 2008, ADP-South reported on 11 additional 
indicators. Of these 11 indicators, 4 set targets for fiscal year 
2009; all except 1 of the remaining indicators tracked from the 
beginning of the program did not have any targets. ADP-South was 
scheduled to end in February 2009, but received an extension through 
fiscal year 2009. The implementing partner told us that USAID did not 
require them to establish targets during the period. However, 4 of the 
11 indicators added in fiscal year 2008 had fiscal year 2009 targets. 

[25] GAO, Afghanistan's Security Environment, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-178R] (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 5, 
2009). 

[26] GAO, Afghanistan's Security Environment, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-613R] (Washington, D.C.: May 5, 
2010). 

[27] The Afghan government defines capacity as the ability to perform 
functions, solve problems, and set and achieve objectives in a 
sustainable manner. 

[28] The Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of 
public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories. The higher 
a country's ranking, the higher the perceived level of corruption. 

[29] In early January 2010, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture 
announced that up to $20 million would be made available for capacity-
building efforts within the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and 
Livestock. As these are not USAID funds, they are not subject to the 
results of USAID's assessment. 

[30] See GAO, Afghanistan: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight, 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-473SP] (Washington, 
D.C.: Apr. 21, 2009). 

[31] See United States Department of State and the Broadcasting Board 
of Governors Office of Inspector General, Report of Inspection: 
Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan, Report Number ISP-I-10-32A (February 2010). 

[32] For example, the U.S. government provided substantial food 
assistance through the United Nations' World Food Program, beginning 
in 2002. The impact of these efforts was reported in GAO, Foreign 
Assistance: Lack of Strategic Focus and Obstacles to Agricultural 
Recovery Threaten Afghanistan's Stability, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-03-607] (Washington, D.C.: June 30, 
2003). 

[33] Pub. L. No. 103-62. 

[End of section] 

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