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USAID Contribution

How-To Note: Strategy-Level Portfolio Review


This How-To Note supplements ADS It presents guidelines and recommended practices in planning and implementing a mission-wide strategy-level portfolio review. These guidelines and practices can also be adapted for Washington based Operating Unit portfolio reviews as well as project- and activity-level reviews conducted by Missions. The primary audience for this guidance includes program officers, monitoring and evaluation specialists, learning advisors, and technical officers involved in conducting a portfolio review.

Portfolio reviews are opportunities for Missions to periodically examine designated aspects of the Mission’s strategy, projects, or activities. Per ADS, Missions must conduct at least one portfolio review per year that focuses on progress toward strategy-level results. Missions may conduct additional portfolio reviews, such as semiannual portfolio or project-level reviews, and the objectives, content and format of these additional portfolio reviews may vary depending on the needs of the Mission.

Portfolio reviews play an important role in a Mission’s ongoing learning and adapting, serving as a pause and reflect moment for the Mission to generate and apply new learning across a broad range of programmatic and operational approaches. Missions may also leverage portfolio reviews to further enhance strategic collaboration and stakeholder engagement, to strengthen knowledge transfer among staff and partners, and to address organizational practices and culture to better enable adaptive management.