What you need to know about baselines and targets
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What You Need to Know About Baselines and Targets. Presentation Outline. Defining Baseline data Tips in Collecting Baseline data Uses of baseline data Performance Targets Why the emphasis on targets? Tips in Performance target setting. Defining Baseline Data.

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What You Need to Know About Baselines and Targets

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What you need to know about baselines and targets

What You Need to Know About Baselines and Targets

Presentation outline

Presentation Outline

  • Defining Baseline data

  • Tips in Collecting Baseline data

  • Uses of baseline data

  • Performance Targets

  • Why the emphasis on targets?

  • Tips in Performance target setting

Defining baseline data

Defining Baseline Data

  • A baseline is a quantifiable point from which to begin an effort and from which change can be measured and documented.

  • Performance baselines reflect, as closely as possible, the value of each performance indicator at the start of USAID-supported activities that contribute to the achievement of the relevant strategic element.

  • The baseline of a milestone indicator describes the status at the start of the intervention. (See ADS 203.3.6)

Important notes about baseline data

Important Notes about Baseline Data

  • Where baseline information is inadequate, many IPs initiate a data collection effort

  • The first set of data collected on these indicators becomes, in effect, the formal baseline against which targets are set and future progress is assessed.

Uses of baseline data

Uses of Baseline data

  • It is used to assess progress towards the achievement of goals and;

  • It is used to provide a comparison for assessing program impact

Important Note: Without an accurate

baseline, variances may not

be detected & addressed with

corrective action plans

Tip 1 collecting baseline data

Tip 1 Collecting Baseline data

  • Keep it focused-Ensure

    that the right data—and only

    the right data—is collected,

    that repetitions are avoided

  • Keep it meaningful.-Use correct measures to collect meaning and useful data

Tip 2

Tip 2

  • Keep it consistent- Data must be collected routinely anddata collection should be based on a set of agreed-upon definitions.

  • These definitions need to be universally understood by employees, managers, partners, suppliers, and even clients/beneficiaries

Without a yardstick there is no measurement without measurement there is no control anonymous

Without a yardstick, there is no measurement;without measurement, there is no control.Anonymous

Performance targets

Performance Targets

  • Performance targets are

    quantifiable estimates or

    expected results to be

    achieved within a given

    time frame 

  • It is against these targets that performance improvement will be measured. 

Types of performance targets

Types of Performance Targets

  • Quantitative:

    -Numerical in nature

    -They identify how much of a change is expected from year to year.

    -Depicts an increase or decrease.

    (TIP Series Number 8)

Types of performance targets1

Types of Performance Targets

  • Qualitative

    -Descriptive in nature

    -Qualitative information can be transformed into quantitative scales against which targets can be set

    (TIP Series Number 8)

Performance targets answer

Performance targets answer….

  • Absolute level of achievement

    Example: 7000 new jobs created

  • Change in level of achievement

    Example: Yields Per hectare increased by 5% from 1996- 2002

Importance of setting targets

Importance of setting targets

  • It is a standard requirement for USG funded projects

  • Provide justification for funding programs

  • Serve as guideposts for judging progress towards long term goals

Importance of targets

Importance of targets

  • Provides the road map for performance improvement.

  • Used to learnand make changesthereby benefiting project or program

  • Measures the efficiency and effectiveness of improvements to project or program outcomes or outputs.

Tip 1 setting performance targets

TIP 1 Setting Performance Targets

  • Review baselines and trends

    Current and/or historical performance

    data in the relevant areas. This

    information must be considered

    in the context of the factors that contributed to the trends and whether or not those factors will still be relevant in the future.

Tip 21


  • Know customer/beneficiaries expectations of progress

    While targets should be set on an objective basis of what can be accomplished given certain

    conditions and resources, it is useful to get input

    from customers regarding what they want, need

Tip 3


  • Use a collaborative approach by involving the relevant stakeholders

    Experience, perspective, and expertise should be leveraged at all levels of the organization—in particular from service providers who have critical insight into what is truly possible to achieve.  This type of collaborative approach improves the chance that the relevant individuals will take ownership and be willing to be held accountable for progress.

Tip 4


  • Seek experts opinion and research literature

    -Experts should be knowledgeable about the program area as well as about local conditions.

    -Similarly, a review of development literature, especially research and evaluation findings, may help in choosing realistic targets.

Tip 5


  • Check Similar Program Accomplishments elsewhere

    Checking progress of other IPs or other development agencies and partners achievements with similar programs and using this information to set ambitious but achievable targets is known as bench-marking.

Tip 6


  • Targets should be realistic & Achievable

    Targets must be challenging, in that they “stretch” the organization to improve but are realistic enough to be attained. 

Tip 7



  • Set annual performance targets.

    This approach is similar to the preceding, except it is based on judgments about what can be achieved each year, instead of starting with a final performance level and working backwards.

Thank you

Thank YOU

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