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Project Design & Implementation

A "project" refers to a set of complementary implementing mechanisms or "activities," over an established timeline and budget, intended to achieve a discrete development result, that is often aligned with an intermediate result in a country development cooperation strategy (CDCS). Project design is the process by which USAID defines how it will operationalize a result or set of results in a CDCS or other strategic framework to ensure efforts are aligned. Project implementation refers to an ongoing process in which USAID staff work collaboratively to ensure that activities taken together are achieving the intended project outcomes.

Project Design & Implementation Resources Grid

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Library Resource

Adaptive management: A practical guide to mitigating uncertainty and advancing evidence-based programming

Jan 25,2021
By: Alysson Akiko Oakley
Pact’s Adaptive Management Guide provides practical guidance to development practitioners globally on the mindsets, behaviors, resources, and processes that underpin an effective adaptive management system. It presents an approach to managing adaptively that is rooted in complexity analysis and program theory. It draws on Pact’s globa...
Library Resource

Streamlining of Automated Directives System (ADS) Chapter 201

Dec 02,2020
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Administrator John Barsa has streamlined Chapter 201 of our ADS, Program Cycle Operational Policy, to shift our emphasis from bureaucracy to the real work of supporting development progress.  The reformed policy responds to calls from the field to streamline the Agency’s proc...
Program Cycle
Library Resource

ADS 201, Program Cycle Operational Policy, Key Requirements

Dec 02,2020
This 10-page document summarizes key "musts" (requirements) and "shoulds" (best practices) in the revision of ADS 201 that was codified on October 28, 2020.
Program Cycle
Library Resource

DRAFT: USAID Evidence Framework

Nov 24,2020
By: Elizabeth Roen
USAID's Program Cycle Policy, USAID’s policy on Development Data, USAID’s Scientific Research Policy and other guidance define evidence for USAID and clarify standards for research, evaluation, and data management and use. This evidence framework brings information from those sources to articulate USAID’s approach to building and us...
Program Cycle
Library Resource

The Program Cycle Learning Study

Apr 28,2020
By: Laura Ahearn
The Program Cycle Learning Study (PCLS) used a qualitative case study approach to provide a systematic and holistic understanding of how four Missions understand and implement the Program Cycle. The study offers examples of how Missions implement the Program Cycle on a day-to-day basis and provides evidence and insight into the effects of...
Program Cycle

Listen Carefully, Tread Lightly, Adapt Quickly: CARE's Approach to Adaptive Management

Mar 10,2020
By: Emily Janoch
My first job in development was as an “Institutional Memory Specialist” (a fancy title to avoid calling me “intern in charge of finding paperwork”) in Bamako, Mali. On my first day, my boss handed me two documents—the proposal and the log frame—and said, “Here’s everything you’ll need to know to get started.” Here’s ...
Program Cycle
Library Resource

Local Philanthropy and Self-Reliance Guide

Feb 03,2020
By: djacobstein
This guide brings together information and materials to help USAID officers and partners better approach the issue of local philanthropy. Local philanthropy both offers a platform for financing of development locally and is an important mechanism of a society's self-reliance, and a lot is known about how to build insights around local phi...

What is the Work?

Jan 21,2020
By: David Jacobstein
In promoting international development, what is the actual work we do?  How is that work understood?  Do our words truly reflect the work we want to see? Could a shift in this language help us to achieve meaningful changes in our work?   Recently, at the Global Partnership for Social Accountability...

Embracing Uncertainty: The Potential for 'Mindful' Development

Oct 27,2019
By: Guy Sharrock
There is a growing awareness that many aspects of economic and social development are complex, unpredictable, and ultimately uncontrollable. Governments, non-governmental organizations, and international agencies have realized the need for a change in emphasis; a paradigm shift is taking place away from predominantly linear and reductioni...
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