Data sources refer to the origins of the performance and context monitoring data that USAID uses to learn, adapt, and make decisions. There are generally three main sources of data USAID relies on: data USAID collects itself, data collected by USAID’s implementing partners, and data collected by third parties such as other donors or host country governments.
One way USAID staff independently collect data directly is through direct observation and site visits. Typically, observation happens in-person, but Missions are also finding creative ways to monitor, such as through satellite imaging and live video feeds. In some cases, such as in disaster response areas, USAID may be implementing activities directly and will collect data as a part of that process. USAID may also organize evidence summits or other learning activities which could be considered sources of monitoring data.
For monitoring data collected by implementing partners, it should be explicitly clear where partners are obtaining their information. For example, is information coming from focus groups with beneficiary farmers, or is it a nationwide survey of small business owners? This should be documented in the PIRS.
If data are from third-party sources such as a government ministry or international organization, the source of that data should be accompanied by descriptive information on where and how the data can be accessed in the future, such as a link to a website where the data are available