Performance monitoring plans and R4s: Field practices and lessons learned
The state of the art in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has been shaped in recent years by the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), passed in 1993. This Act was part of the ?re-inventing government?phase of the first Clinton administration, and was conceived
of as a way to focus the attention of federal agencies on maximizing the effectiveness of their programs and activities . Although it requires specific steps in planning, implementation, and results reporting by each federal agency, operational details have been left largely to the discretion
of each agency’s administrators. In the 1990s, USAID met its GPRA obligations in part through requiring Performance Monitoring Plans (PMPs) and Results Review and Resource Request (R4) reports from its overseas Missions and other operating units. Although the R4 reporting format has been replaced by Annual Report guidelines, the basic M&E steps
remain much the same. Each Mission’s PMP is the fundamental document structuring M&E activities associated with single-country or regional programs over a number of years (usually five), and each Mission must annually report information on progress and achievements over the previous year and provide budget justifications based on performance and
the Mission’s (revised) plans and expectations.