In passing the Food for Peace Act in 2008, Congress authorized up to $22 million annually for fiscal years 2009 to 2012 to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve, monitor, and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of nonemergency food aid programs. Congress also required USAID to report on its oversight of these programs and the Comptroller General to review and report to Congress on USAID's report. Through analysis of agency documents; interviews with agency officials, experts, and partners; and visits to Bangladesh and Haiti, this mandated report reviews (1) USAID's plans and actions to improve its monitoring and evaluation of nonemergency food aid programs and (2) the extent to which USAID has integrated its monitoring and evaluation of nonemergency food aid with program management.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|United States Agency for International Development||1. To facilitate the implementation of ongoing efforts to improve monitoring and evaluation and ensure effective program management of nonemergency food aid, the Administrator of USAID should develop a concept of operations document to help reduce the risks associated with upgrading FFP's information technology system. Such a document should adhere to industry best practices and include key elements such as major system components, interfaces to external systems, and performance characteristics. It would also describe system characteristics for a proposed system from a user's point of view and include high-level descriptions of information systems, their interrelationships, and information flows.|
|United States Agency for International Development||2. To facilitate the implementation of ongoing efforts to improve monitoring and evaluation and ensure effective program management of nonemergency food aid, the Administrator of USAID should develop an integrated monitoring and evaluation plan to ensure that the results of its oversight activities are used for effective management of nonemergency food aid programs. Such a plan should, among other things, (1) link monitoring and evaluation to key USAID and FFP goals; (2) establish a systematic process for determining appropriate budget levels and staff resources for monitoring and evaluation based on an analysis of the nature, scope, and size of the programs, and the unique conditions presented, in the recipient countries; (3) examine all available options for funding monitoring and evaluation at headquarters and in recipient countries; and (4) establish time frames for implementing and evaluating the plan.|