An Action Plan for Cross-Sectoral DRG Integration

DCHA has undertaken a series of efforts to gather comprehensive information on Agency efforts to integrate DRG principles and approaches into strategy development, project design and program implementation. These efforts have included gathering data on how Missions analyze political constraints to development and then leverage interventions across sectors to address these constraints. DCHA has also developed a “DRG Integration Key Issue” to better track the integration of DRG principles – such as participation, inclusion, transparency and accountability – into other sectoral programming. In addition to the Key Issue, DRG Center staff has also gathered detailed quantitative and qualitative data on the extent of DRG integration taking place at the Mission level, as well as the challenges of taking integrated approaches forward. As part of this process, DCHA developed a worldwide map of integrated programming and surveyed the DRG cadre on its experiences with DRG integration. Finally, DCHA held virtual focus groups with senior staff and technical officers from 14 Missions to gather more qualitative data.

The overall findings include the following:
● More than three-quarters of the results frameworks in 52 approved CDCSs included DRG interventions integrated into other sectoral DOs;
● Thirty-nine bilateral Missions attributed approximately $288 million, or 1.52% of the total USAID budget, to DRG integration as reported in the FY 2014 DRG Integration Key Issue narratives; and
● Ninety percent of DCHA survey respondents had tried to develop programming that integrated DRG principles and approaches into other sectors.

Survey findings and focus group discussions yielded a mixed picture on DRG integration. Mission staff noted that the rationale for using integrated approaches to address development challenges included interest in the following:
● Strengthening the capacity of local partners;
● Combining technical expertise and resources from across sectors to tackle common development challenges;
● Seeking new approaches to address development challenges; and
● Growing awareness that core DRG challenges – such as corruption and the quality of public administration – are constraining development outcomes in other sectors.

Staff identified the following three key themes as to why integrated programming failed:
● 43% noted that Initiative interests in Washington were driving sector investments;
● 29% described legal restrictions on the use of sector funds for DRG activities; and
● 29% indicated a lack of interest by other sectors to use integrated approaches to address development challenges.

In response to these research results, DCHA held action-planning sessions with a working group comprised of members from the Bureaus for Food Security and Global Health, the Education and Forestry and Biodiversity Offices in the E3 Bureau, and the Global Climate Change and Power Africa initiatives. Constituent teams of the working group identified barriers to DRG integration and solutions that will encourage cross-sectoral programming. The teams further identified several critical short-term actions that would contribute to incentivizing the scale-up of integrated approaches to development over the next several months.

These short-term actions include the following:
● Begin a process, including the allocation of funding, to support the piloting of joint political economy analysis (PEA) to inform CDCS, project design and activity development. This will enable staff across sectors to identify and co-design solutions to political constraints that hinder development programming (by January 2015);
● Develop and pilot Agency training on PEA and strategic and project design, and incorporate an introduction to PEA and strategic and project design into existing Agency training (by September 2015);
● Convene a working group of field and Washington staff to identify impediments to fully reporting on DRG integration efforts, report the results to the ALC, and undertake agreed-upon actions to resolve problems;
● Work with PPL on revisions to CDCS and project-design guidance to facilitate DRG integration across sectors (throughout 2015);
● Conduct case studies of Mission operational and programmatic experience with integration, work with LPA and other bureaus to collect success stories related to integrated programming, convene an evidence workshop on Agency experience with integrated programming (including promising approaches and lessons learned), and disseminate findings broadly across the Agency (by March 2016);
● Reduce hurdles to DRG integration by amending sector and Initiative guidance, as necessary, and consistent with appropriations law, to clarify the acceptability of using sectoral and Initiative resources to integrate DRG principles and practices to enhance program outcomes (by June 2015);
● Incorporate training on key DRG principles and approaches, including PEA, citizen participation, transparency, accountability and anti-corruption into existing sectoral and Initiative training courses; and incentivize the attendance of DRG officers into other sector training (by September 2015);
● Develop a roster of cross-sectoral technical assistance teams that includes sector experts and DRG officers to support integrated programming (by September 2015);
● Develop and circulate a list of mechanisms that other sectors and Initiatives can use to support cross-sectoral programming in areas such as anti-corruption, civil society engagement, governance and human rights (by April 2015);
● Develop (by March 2015) and implement an Agency integration communications strategy that raises the level of attention to DRG integration in Washington and the field though a series of communications such as an Executive Notice from the Administrator, meetings with Bureau and Initiative leadership, calls with Mission Directors and related communications (by July 2015); and
● Enhance and finalize list of pilot actions to scale up the co-design, management and evaluation of cross-sectoral activities as outlined below (by April 2015).

Highlights from the detailed discussions and action planning between DCHA and the various sectors and Initiatives are included below:

Bureau for Food Security
● Intensify civil society engagement in Feed the Future project design and implementation.
● Strengthen DRG-BFS collaboration on issues of policy reform and related programming.
● Support the co-design of food security and nutrition activities that engage local governments.

Global Climate Change
● Intensify legislative civil society engagement in Global Climate Change policy development.
● Pilot PEA as part of project development of the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) program.
● Incorporate institutional and organizational capacity assessment, Public Financial Management assessments, and PEA into the design of GCC activities.

Power Africa
● Strengthen civil-society engagement and partner-country consultation on policy reform issues in Power Africa projects.
● Strengthen anti-corruption efforts, including tendering and procurement processes.

Education
● Collaborate on efforts to monitor and reduce corruption and increase transparency on textbook procurement and distribution, teacher salaries and other education expenditures.
● Enhance the role of civil society organizations, youth and other vulnerable populations in the attainment of the three education goals.
● Incorporate DRG principles into the scaling up of All Children Reading and Making All Voices Count initiatives.
● Increase access to basic education with a focus on sustainability, even in crisis contexts and conflict-affected countries, using DRG principles and practices.

Biodiversity
● Strengthen the role of civil society in conservation work by convening local stakeholders, constituent capacity-building, community participation and decision-making, land-use planning, land tenure, and strengthening responsible institutions at the local level.
● Develop and strengthen environmental and social safeguards/guidelines for the Agency.
● Increase the intentionality and intensity of transparency, civil society, rule of law and anti-corruption efforts in combating wildlife trafficking.

Global Health
● Integrate accountability and local governance programming into health-project designs.
● Ensure that DRG principles and practices related to inclusion of marginalized populations are incorporated into the design and implementation of health projects to increase the inclusive representation, voice and rights of marginalized populations.
● Integrate attention to political economy and accountability systems into the design, implementation and evaluation of domestic resource mobilization programming to ensure that revenues are budgeted and spent to support priority health services (in partnership with Economic Growth).

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