Ensuring that USAID is using the highest quality data available for making decisions is of the utmost importance to the Agency. For this reason, USAID has identified five data quality standards that all data from performance monitoring indicators must meet:
- Validity - Data clearly and adequately represent the intended result.
- Integrity - Data have safeguards to minimize the risk of transcription error or data manipulation.
- Precision - Data have sufficient level of detail to permit management decision making.
- Reliability - Data reflect consistent collection processes and analysis methods over time.
- Timeliness - Data are available at a useful frequency, are current, and timely enough to influence management decision making.
As a means of verifying whether data are meeting these standards, USAID requires a Data Quality Assessment (DQA) be conducted on all data reported to an entity external from the original Mission or Washington Operating Unit (OU) that collected the data.