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Program Assessment


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In-House Research for Natural Resource Base and Environment

This program conducts research to conserve and improve natural resources, while strenghtening production and improving environmental quality. Topics include soil, water and air quality, global climate change, and integrated agricultural systems. Findings are disseminated to the public and private sectors for their use.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • Three of the annual measures deal with the relevance, quality and performance of projects. Examples of these measures are the percentage of projects that an independent external peer review panel approves on its first review (as requiring only moderate, minor or no modification), and the percentage of projects that fully or substantially achieve their milestones.
  • This program includes a significant number of projects (earmarks) added to the Budget by the Congress. Within the limitations of total funding, the inclusion of any unrequested projects reduces funding that could be used for high priority national programs.
  • The program reports data on project quality based on reviews by independent external peer panels. Future targets only show an annual imrprovement goal of 0.5%, which does not appear to be ambitious.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Re-evaluating the criteria that it uses to determine outyear targets for project quality, for the purpose of establishing more ambitious targets.
  • Conducting an independent external retrospective panel to review the Global Change and Air Quality programs during FY 2007.

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