To effectively gauge changes in aspects of performance that Missions or Washington Operating Units (OUs) are monitoring, USAID requires the use of baselines and targets. For context indicators, the use of baselines and triggers are recommended. ADS 188.8.131.52 defines baselines and targets as follows:
Baselines: The value of an indicator before major implementation actions of USAID-supported strategies, projects, or activities. Baseline data enable the tracking of changes that occurred during the project or the activity with the resources allocated to that project or activity.
Targets: Specific, planned level of result to be achieved within a specific timeframe with a given level of resources. Targets should be ambitious but achievable given USAID (and potentially other donor or partner) inputs. Missions and Washington OUs are accountable for assessing progress against their targets.