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actors, USAID expects to be able to influence their achievement
significantly.
Each performance goal spans a ten year time horizon.
This
reflects the long term and inherently complex nature of the
changes USAID seeks to help bring about.
Political, economic,
social or cultural changes are seldom linear and often do not
affect different societies at the same time or rate.
In some
cases, change can seem dramatic and rapid, such as the fall of
the Berlin Wall.
More typically, change is slow and incremental,
such as the gradual deterioration of a highly centralized system
of economic and political control.
Similarly, the change to a
sound, market based economy or to a stable, pluralistic democracy
is typically a slow process.
USAID expects that the 10 year time
frame will be sufficient to observe meaningful change.
Performance Indicators and Data
The APP describes the indicators that the Agency will use to
measure and assess progress against each performance goal.
Identifying a manageable set of good performance indicators is
technically challenging.
Where the development hypotheses are
less well understood or where data are less reliable, USAID
selected a greater percentage of proxy indicators or qualitative
measures.
This was the case for the Agency's democracy and
governance, environment, and humanitarian assistance goals.
Where there is greater agreement on the development hypotheses
and quality data exist, USAID selected a greater number of direct
and quantitative measures.
This tended to be the case for
USAID's economic growth and agricultural development, population
and health, and human capacity goals.
In time, however, more
rigorous and direct measures that better capture results in all
Agency performance goal areas can be expected.
The present
context, significance and importance of each indicator are
discussed below.
At this point in time, the Agency will be tracking a relatively
large number of indicators.
However, since USAID is drawing upon
existing sources of information, it constitutes a cost effective
approach to collecting performance data.
The World Development
Indicators, the Freedom House surveys, United Nations
publications and annual performance reports from USAID's
operating units were among the existing reports used.
Over time,
USAID expects general agreement on the most useful indicators to
increase.
The data sources for each performance indicator, and, where
appropriate, what USAID will do to improve the quality of
indicators are noted.
In cases where the selected indicators
together may not provide sufficient information to adequately
assess performance on a goal, USAID will supplement them with
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