USAID Updated Guidance To Address Inconsistent Use of Journey to Self-Reliance Metrics and Misalignment of Missions’ Budgets

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USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance approach emphasizes the importance of reducing host governments’ reliance on foreign aid in the developing countries where it operates. Under the Journey to Self-Reliance approach, USAID compiled a set of metrics that were intended to quantitatively provide an annual snapshot, or Country Roadmap, of each partner country’s capacity and commitment to solving its own development challenges. We reviewed three missions that were part of the initial pilot countries using the approach and found that these missions applied the metrics inconsistently to their Country Development Cooperation Strategies, which articulate how the Agency will design and implement its projects in each country. As the Agency continued to roll out the metrics to additional missions, it used feedback from the pilot missions to update and clarify its guidance on using the metrics through a policy update. As part of the Journey to Self-Reliance approach, USAID implemented two new budgeting processes for missions that were designed to improve alignment between Journey to Self-Reliance Country Strategies and budgets. However, because of challenges in implementing these processes, the budgets in the three pilot missions did not fully align to the Journey to Self-Reliance approach. To address these issues, the Agency updated policy to clarify roles and responsibilities for producing budget scenarios and updated Mission Resource Request guidance to help deconflict differing instructions. We made no recommendations, because USAID issued updated guidance to address the inconsistent use of metrics in Country Strategies as well as to address issues identified in the production of Country Strategy budget scenarios and Mission Resource Requests.