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Student Question. - What is the Relevance of USAID's M&E and PMP Policies for Proposal Development?

Hi everyone, I was just wondering what the relevance of USAID's Evaluation Policy (2011), Performance Management Plan (PMP) Toolkit (2013) is for proposal development. In other words, how should the knowledge gained from reading these documents inform developing and writing proposals? The documents I'm referring to can be accessed here: http://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/USAIDEvaluationPolicy.pdf http://usaidprojectstarter.org/sites/default/files/resources/pdfs/PMP-Toolkit.pdf Any answer is appreciated, the more detailed, the better! :) Best, Miguel

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Miguel Martin Menez | SIT Graduate Institute
Jan 30, 2015

I know that this post probably requires a lengthy and detailed answer.  Please feel free to type any thoughts you have on this.  I'm especially interested in a USAID employee's take on this question.

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Heather Risley | Insight Systems Corp.
Feb 12, 2015

Hi Miguel, thanks for your question! I am one of the content managers for Learning Lab on behalf of USAID. There are a number of people around the Agency who could probably shed more light on the topic, but in the meantime, I’m happy to share some quick thoughts. USAID’s Evaluation Policy is meant to provide the broad outline for the role of evaluations in USAID-funded activities as well as approaches to their management and use. The PMP Toolkit provides a practical framework for monitoring the performance of individual activities. The two should be used in tandem to inform a holistic M&E plan – monitoring to inform areas of success as well as opportunities for iterative course correction and rigorous evaluation to determine larger lessons learned.

Acknowledging that no two proposals are exactly alike, many require an illustrative M&E Plan or Evaluation Plan. This is your opportunity to display your understanding of the key elements of the PMP by sharing specific examples. For instance, many proposals require illustrative indicators of success for the activity. It also reinforces a higher quality bid, because by undergoing this exercise, you can better articulate the outcomes and overall design of your proposed set of interventions. 

You may also be interested in joining the Evaluation Interest Group on this site. It's members are composed of USAID staff and partners coming together to share resources and periodically discuss evaluation topics in the USAID context.  It's an open group, and you can request membership here.

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Monica Matts | USAID - PPL
Feb 16, 2015

Thanks for the question, Miguel, and I agree with Heather's answer.

The evaluation policy and PMP toolkit guide how the Agency conducts evaluations and how USAID Missions manage performance of their portfolios and track progress against their goals. So, while the requirements of the policy and guidance in the toolkit apply to USAID operating units, the principles should flow down to contracts and grants and the implementing partners that manage them. As Heather noted, using your knowledge of the evaluation policy and PMP toolkit to develop the M&E plan for a proposal is a smart approach.

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