Education Reporting Toolkit
This toolkit contains a complete listing of resources related to changes to USAID education reporting that take effect in 2019.
This toolkit contains a complete listing of resources available related to changes to USAID education reporting that take effect in 2019. These changes are a direct response to two key documents published in 2018: USAID Education Policy and the U.S. Government Strategy on International Basic Education (USG Education Strategy). As a result, the Office of Education has updated its reporting requirements, including its education-related indicators and Key Issue Narratives, to support reporting on the Education Policy and USG Education Strategy and to facilitate internal learning.
Changes to look for in the new guidance cover five areas:
- Target Setting
- Data Disaggregation
- Program Area and Key Issue Narratives
- Streamlined Reporting
For more on these changes, see the blog below.
For the list of standard and supplemental indicators and their PIRS, please visit the USAID 2019 Education Indicator Guidance Resource Page.
See pages 11-22 of the Education Reporting Guidance for indicators summarized below.
This guidance discusses four types of indicators―three familiar and one new. Understanding these terms is essential for understanding this guidance and navigating reporting for education activities.
- Standard Foreign Assistance Indicators (Standard Indicators): These indicators are assigned, as applicable, to OUs. For 2019, there are 25 Standard Indicators: 15 new and ten revised. Many of these indicators will be familiar, even if the definitions and methodologies have been updated.
- Supplemental Indicators: The 16 Supplemental Indicators are new for 2019. They complete the picture of USAID education sector reporting by adding new areas of measurement, such as numeracy, teacher quality, social emotional skills, and an expanded set of youth skills. Unlike Standard Indicators, uptake of Supplemental indicators is voluntary, but strongly encouraged.
- Custom Indicators: These indicators are specific to OUs and were likely created to satisfy individual reporting or measurement needs. These indicators remain unchanged unless an OU decides it is appropriate to transition an existing Custom Indicator into a Standard or Supplemental Indicator.
- Archived Indicators: OUs can continue reporting on an Archived Indicator if they are unable to transition to a new indicator. However, the Office of Education strongly encourages OUs to transition to the new indicators because using them makes it easier for the Office of Education to report accurate results to Congress.
New Standard and Supplemental Indicators
New indicators released in 2019: 15 Standard and 16 Supplemental. Of the 31 new indicators, 23 measure outcomes and 8 measure outputs.
Revised Standard Indicators
The Office of Education has revised 10 Standard Indicators. Some of these revisions are small, such as the addition of disaggregates, while others are more substantial and require the use of new tools or definitions.
Archived Standard Indicators
In response to the Education Policy and changes in reporting requirements 11 Standard Indicators have been archived.
Disaggregates are a way of breaking out data by key categories of interest, such as demographic characteristics. Under the new education reporting requirements, disaggregates have been updated across indicators to facilitate reporting on marginalized or vulnerable populations and to meet requirements of the Education Policy and the USG Education Strategy. Complete reporting of disaggregates is essential for accurate reporting and for tracking USAID’s achievements in equity and inclusion.
Although many of the Standard Indicators remain familiar, even if revised, the Supplemental Indicators represent important intermediate outcomes that help USAID tell its story and learn about contributors to learning outcomes. Such intermediate outcomes enable Missions to show progress as they work toward strengthening systems, which also contribute to learning outcomes.
The PIRS contain detailed information about how to measure each indicator and should be reviewed comprehensively before reporting against an indicator.
Important Note: If new or additional data collection activities or changes to a contract or agreement are required, the COR/AOR and implementing partner should work together to determine the best course of action.
Program Area Narratives and Key Issue Narratives
In addition to indicator data, Standardized Program Structure and Definitions (SPSD) Program Area Narratives and Key Issue Narratives provide important information needed for USAID/Washington’s reporting. The two main education-focused SPSD Program Area Narratives for ES.1 Basic Education and ES.2 Higher Education have been revised to better support the Education Policy.
A new Key Issue Narrative targeting Engagement of Higher Education Institutions (EHEI) has been added. The EHEI Key Issue Narrative is a tool for gathering information necessary for a variety of reporting on the Agency’s engagement of HEIs in the United States and in host countries. USAID uses the information to prepare the annual Title XII Report to Congress and the annual Minority Serving Institutions report, and to report on Congressional directives on higher education partnerships. This Key Issue Narrative could apply broadly across sectors and activities, many that may not consider themselves in the category of higher education. There are important differences between this Key Issue Narrative and the ES.2 Higher Education Performance Narrative. The Reporting Requirements and Considerations for SPSD and Key Issue Narratives section explains the distinct requirements of each narrative.
Operating Units should plan to report on these as applicable.
WHY ARE THERE NEW REPORTING REQUIREMENTS AND WHY ARE THESE CHANGES HAPPENING NOW?
In 2018, USAID published two key documents: The U.S. Government Strategy on International Basic Education and the USAID Education Policy. These documents help guide and define the purpose of education programming, while calling for a renewed emphasis on measuring learning outcomes for a broad set of skills. This requires changes to education reporting in 2019 to enable USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment/Office of Education (E3/ED) to tell a complete story of collective ambitions and achievements of USAID education programming.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE NEW AND REVISED INDICATORS?
This Education Reporting Toolkit is intended to serve as a companion to the Education Reporting Guidance Note and is hosted online at EducationLinks. The toolkit contains a listing of all new and revised indicators, Performance Indicator Reference Sheets, Standardized Program Structure and Definitions (SPSD) Program Area Narratives, and Key Issue Narratives.
WHAT DO WE DO WITH OUR EXISTING ACTIVITIES? DO WE NEED TO INCORPORATE THESE CHANGES NOW?
E3/ED understands that a full transition to the new reporting requirement and indicators will take time, and highly encourages OU's to transition to the new indicators as quickly as reasonable to make sure we are telling a complete story.
Although the new indicators will be assigned during the 2019 fiscal year Performance Plan and Report (PPR), individual missions’ timeline for transition will depend on various factors, such as what data are collected for existing activities. The Contracting/Agreement Officer’s Representative (COR/AOR) and the implementing partner should work together and consult existing guidance to determine the best course of action. If a contract or agreement mandates the use of an Archived Indicator, in the absence of a modification, the activity can continue to report on that indicator, despite its archived status. The Helpdesk is available to answer further questions.
WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR NEW ACTIVITIES?
The new reporting requirements must be reflected in the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (PMEP) for new awards.
MY INDICATOR WAS ARCHIVED, NOW WHAT?
Programs may still report on indicators that were archived, using them as Custom Indicators, but results reported through archived indicators will not be included in aggregate reporting to the Congress. Archived Indicators should only be used if an operating unit (OU) is unable to transition to a new indicator. Contact the Helpdesk for help handling your individual situation.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DATA CALL?
The PPR will be E3/ED’s main reporting mechanism starting in 2019; the Data Call used with the previous USAID Education Strategy (2011–2015) will be done away with.
Missions and implementing partners will still be asked to help E3/ED with current tasks, such as submitting datasets and learning assessments to the Development Data Library and updating the Education Activity Roster.
HOW SHOULD USAID OUs APPROACH TARGET SETTING?
There will be a shift from a top–down, USAID/Washington-led exercise to a bottom–up, mission-led approach to target setting. Missions should report targets for all indicators in PPR, even if the target is zero. The ADS 201 currently provides general guidance on target setting. Education-specific guidance is being developed for the Education Reporting Toolkit and is expected to be available in 2020.
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT TARGET SETTING?
The ADS 201 currently provides general guidance on target setting. Education-specific guidance will be available in the Education Reporting Toolkit in 2020.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STANDARD AND SUPPLEMENTAL INDICATORS?
E3/ED assigns Standard Foreign Assistance Indicators (Standard Indicators) to OUs; they include 25 Standard Indicators—15 new and 10 revised. OU's are required to report Standard Indicators that are relevant to their programming.
Supplemental Indicators are a new category. They respond to the priorities of the Policy and focus on topics such as numeracy skills, teacher quality, social-emotional skills, and an expanded range of youth workforce skills. Although E3/ED does not assign these indicators to OUs, OUs are strongly encouraged to use them because they help tell a more complete story of USAID’s education programming worldwide and ensure programs reach intended beneficiaries. Performance Indicator Reference Sheets for both types of indicators are available in the Education Reporting Toolkit.
WHY ARE THERE MORE DISAGGREGATES AND HOW DO I KNOW WHICH ONES TO USE?
Disaggregates are essential to making sure programs reach their intended beneficiaries, and monitoring USAID’s engagement with children and youth who are marginalized and vulnerable. While not all disaggregates are mandated, E3/ED includes them in reporting requirements because the information they provide is central to the Policy and USAID’s education work that promotes equity and inclusion.
The disaggregates were updated for many indicators to facilitate reporting and better monitor progress toward improved equity and inclusion.
Consult the Performance Indicator Reference Sheet for more information on using disaggregates with specific indicators, and contact the E3/ED Indicator Helpdesk with questions about the reporting requirements for your specific context. Please email questions to the Helpdesk.
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT SETTING INTERNATIONALLY LINKED BENCHMARKS IN EARLY GRADE READING AND MATH?
E3/ED is developing a training plan and toolkit, which are expected to be available early 2020. More information about these resources will be announced when available.
DOES THIS REPLACE PPR GUIDANCE AND ADS MONITORING POLICY?
No. These changes are intended to complement, not replace existing guidance on the PPR or the monitoring policy in the Automated Directive System (ADS) 201.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE HELP?
E3/ED has set up a Helpdesk to create a direct line of communication to monitoring and evaluation professionals who can answer questions about the reporting requirements. Please email questions to the Helpdesk.