U.S. Agency for International Development: Status of Achieving Key Outcomes and Addressing Major Management Challenges

GAO-01-721 Published: Aug 17, 2001. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 2001.
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This report reviews the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) fiscal year 2000 performance report and fiscal year 2002 performance plan to assess the agency's progress in achieving selected key outcomes that are important to the agency's mission. GAO found that although USAID reported progress toward achieving the selected outcomes, the extent of the progress is unclear because the agency based its support on disaggregated and, in some cases, out-of-date and selective data. Unlike past years when USAID issued separate performance reports and performance plans, the agency issued a performance overview supplemented by more detailed data in the fiscal year 2000 budget justification to Congress, both of which incorporated elements of performance reporting and planning. In the fiscal year 2000 Performance Overview, USAID based its statements of progress on self-reported fiscal year 1999 performance data provided by individual USAID missions. In addition, USAID reported progress toward achieving agency goals and objectives by relying on selected information about an individual country's missions' performance. Although USAID reported detailed fiscal year 2000 performance data at the operating unit level in its budget justification, those data were not aggregated to summarize progress toward agency objectives.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
United States Agency for International Development The Administrator of USAID should take actions to provide clearer evidence of progress toward achieving agency outcomes. The actions should include reporting aggregated performance results of agency objectives and the activities under them. his aggregation should be sufficient to provide a clear linkage between overall statements of progress found in the Performance Overview and unit level data presented in the budget justification.
Closed - Implemented
USAID officials generally agreed with GAO's recommendations. In its fiscal year 2002 and 2003 Performance and Accountability Reports, USAID reported that in sectors where there is sufficient comparability across country programs for USAID to use common indicators, USAID aggregates the data for agency-wide reporting. A USAID official stated that the agency began collecting data using common indicators that USAID could "roll up" agency-wide in about December 2001 and that the effort is ongoing.

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