USTDA’s combined monitoring and evaluation (M&E) functions are integrated into all project, budget, management, and policy decisions. In this way, the two departments work together to promote the efficiency and efficacy of the Agency’s programs, to ensure compliance and cost-effectiveness, and to utilize data to achieve future success.
Together, M&E are core functions in enabling effective internal control in line with the guidance from OMB Circular No. A-123. The M&E Office conducts annual financial and programmatic audits based upon risk factors that are assigned to programs. The Monitoring function reviews all final deliverables submitted under the Agency’s funding to check for compliance, and proactively facilitates grant close-outs.
The Evaluation function documents results for every program funded. In this way, USTDA has a complete understanding of both compliance and performance for every dollar expended in the execution of its mission. The Agency’s programmatic staff rely on the quantitative and qualitative data generated by the M&E Office for decision-making, contributing to program effectiveness and future programming.
Data is an essential tool for driving performance. With over 30 years of data on the impact of project preparation efforts, USTDA’s M&E Office supports evidence-based program design for infrastructure development in emerging markets. The M&E Office collects data, evaluates impact, and provides analysis to help USTDA make effective investment decisions. And the results show: USTDA’s return on investment in exports for each program dollar spent has more than doubled in the last five years. The foundation for this success is strong, rigorous monitoring and evaluation practices that seek to understand the significance of USTDA activities in complex environments, and M&E provides credible evidence to scale programs that work.
The combined M&E functions enhance the Agency’s ability to identify, analyze and avoid risks as well as manage performance and program oversight challenges associated with achieving the Agency’s objectives. M&E maintains a positive and supportive approach toward grant management, oversight and results-tracking, communicating effectively with Agency staff to help make continuous improvements ensuring more successful outcomes.