Organizational Performance Index Measurement Tool

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Organization(s):
Date Published:
January 1, 2015
Contribution:
USAID Contribution

The Local Solutions team is happy to endorse the Organizational Performance Index (OPI) tool as an appropriate indicator for tracking organizational capacity development. The OPI was developed by Pact but is freely available for public use through a Creative Commons license provided credit is given. OPI as an index indicator is fully consistent with the latest USAID Recommendations on Capacity Development Measurement. Specifically, it measures performance rather than capacity per se, so is more valid and aligns incentives, and considers performance holistically, tracking performance of the organization across multiple areas of work, both in terms of more immediate aspects of Effectiveness and Efficiency, and longer-term aspects of Relevance and Sustainability. The Local Solutions team worked with several Missions to pilot OPI in direct awards, and numerous implementers have also used it with subawardees, giving us confidence that it works as intended.

We like the OPI for several reasons:

  • It’s simple and easy to use – our experience has been that it takes a half-day to conduct for the first time, and only an hour or two to update on an annual basis.
  • It’s been tested for validity and reliability under Rockefeller Foundation grants, so measurement by different people should result in the same scores.
  • We value a standardized format that is flexibly applicable – so we are strongly encouraging staff, if they want to address additional aspects of performance, to add a performance area rather than adjust the index. Over time, this will allow us to identify patterns and improve Agency-level evidence about the conditions and approaches that foster improved performance, generating important learning.
  • We like that it’s been proven in various USAID contexts and sectors.
  • We appreciate that it measures balances attention to short-term and long-term capacities, not just performance on a given award, and so speaks to our aspiration to partner in ways that both achieve our purposes and support our partners’ growth.

You can find the detailed OPI chart, a Handbook with guidance on how to apply it, a slide deck with further details and tips for implementation, and a review of the experience and feedback of pilot Missions. You can also download a copy and find further information at http://www.capacitysolutionsplatform.com/. If you have questions about the OPI or would like to connect with staff from pilot Missions or partners who have implemented it, please contact David Jacobstein at djacobstein@usaid.gov.

 

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