7 CFR § 1499.12 - Monitoring and evaluation requirements.
(a) A recipient will be responsible for designing a performance monitoring plan for the project, obtaining written approval of the plan from CCC before putting it into effect, and managing and implementing the plan, unless otherwise specified in the agreement.
(b) A recipient must establish baseline values, annual targets, and life of activity targets for each performance indicator included in the recipient's approved performance monitoring plan, unless otherwise specified in the agreement.
(c) A recipient must inform CCC, in the manner and within the time period specified in the agreement, of any problems, delays, or adverse conditions that materially impair the recipient's ability to meet the objectives of the agreement. This notification must include a statement of any corrective actions taken or contemplated by the recipient, and any additional assistance requested from CCC to resolve the situation.
(d) A recipient will be responsible for designing an evaluation plan for the project, obtaining written approval of the plan from CCC before putting it into effect, and arranging for an independent third party to implement the evaluation, unless otherwise specified in the agreement. This evaluation plan will detail the evaluation purpose and scope, key evaluation questions, evaluation methodology, time frame, evaluation management, and cost. This plan will generally be based upon the evaluation plan that the recipient submitted to CCC as part of its application, pursuant to § 1499.4(b)(6), unless the notice of funding opportunity specified that an evaluation plan was not required to be included in the application. The recipient must ensure that the evaluation plan:
(1) Is designed using the most rigorous methodology that is appropriate and feasible, taking into account available resources, strategy, current knowledge and evaluation practices in the sector, and the implementing environment;
(2) Is designed to inform management, activity implementation, and strategic decision-making;
(3) Utilizes analytical approaches and methodologies, based on the questions to be addressed, project design, budgetary resources available, and level of rigor and evidence required, which may be implemented through methods such as case studies, surveys, quasi-experimental designs, randomized field experiments, cost-effectiveness analyses, implementation reviews, or a combination of methods;
(4) Adheres to generally accepted evaluation standards and principles;
(5) Uses participatory approaches that seek to include the perspectives of diverse parties and all relevant stakeholders; and
(6) Where possible, utilizes local consultants and seeks to build local capacity in evaluation.
(i) Is financially and legally separate from the recipient's organization; and
(ii) Has staff with demonstrated methodological, cultural and language competencies, and specialized experience in conducting evaluations of international development programs involving agriculture, trade, education, and nutrition, provided that CCC may determine that, for a particular agreement, the staff of the independent third party evaluator is not required to have specialized experience in conducting evaluations of programs involving one or more of these four areas.
(2) A recipient must provide a written certification to CCC that there is no real or apparent conflict of interest on the part of any recipient staff member or third party entity designated or hired to play a substantive role in the evaluation of activities under the agreement.
(1) A recipient is responsible for establishing the required financial and human capital resources for monitoring and evaluation of activities under the agreement. The recipient must maintain a separate budget for monitoring and evaluation, with separate budget line items for dedicated recipient monitoring and evaluation staff and independent third-party evaluation contracts.
(2) Personnel at a recipient's headquarters offices and field offices with specialized expertise and experience in monitoring and evaluation may be used by the recipient for dedicated monitoring and evaluation. Unless otherwise specified in the agreement or approved evaluation plan, all evaluations must be managed by the recipient's evaluation experts outside of the recipient's line management for the activities.
(h) CCC may independently conduct or commission an evaluation of a single agreement or an evaluation that includes multiple agreements. A recipient must cooperate, and comply with any demands for information or materials made in connection, with any evaluation conducted or commissioned by CCC. Such evaluations may be conducted by CCC internally or by a CCC-hired external evaluation contractor.