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IX. Definitions, glossary, table of content and coverselected for printing

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Measures of effectiveness (MoE) and measures of performance (MoP)


Operations take place in dynamic environments where changes in the political, economic, social, military, infrastructure and information domains are constantly happening. Military Commanders need feedback in order to determine the effectiveness of their operations and make recommendations for changes.

In NATO, this feedback process is called ‘Operations Assessment’. Operations Assessment is to be understood as the function that enables the measurement of progress and results of operations in a military context, and the subsequent development of conclusions and recommendations that support decision making.

CIMIC supports the Operations Assessment process. This is done by formulating and measuring MoEs and MoPs;

  • Measures of Effectiveness (MoE): A metric used to measure a current system state. “Are we on track to achieve the intended new system state within the planned timescale?”
  • Measures of Performance (MoP): A metric used to determine the accomplishment of actions. “Are the actions being executed as planned?”

MoE Development

MoEs for assessing the success of CIMIC activities should be designed with the same consideration in mind as for any other type of operation. The following general criteria should be considered:

  • Ends-related. MoEs should directly relate to the tasks that will support the commander’s intended end-state.
  • Measurability. In order to measure effectiveness, a baseline assessment must be established before you execute the action. Your effectiveness will be measured against the baseline.
  • Timeliness. Feedback must be timely and clearly stated for each MoE and/or MoP and a plan made to report within specified time periods.

MoEs should be kept in mind when planning your actions. If the effects and actions are not linked to the Commander’s objectives, or are not clearly set out in writing, measuring your effectiveness is nearly impossible. If MoEs are difficult to write for a specific effect, then re-evaluate the effect and consider rewriting if necessary.

MoEs developed in support of CIMIC must be as specific as possible in order to determine direct cause-and-effect relationships. Remember that an ‘effect’ must be MEASURABLE. The more specific the MoE, the easier it will be to determine what actions are required to produce the desired effect.

One of the biggest challenges with MoEs is the difficulty in isolating variables and establishing a direct cause-and-effect relationship. CIMIC capabilities are directed at key leaders/decision-makers and those in the civilian environment who you come into contact with. This makes it much more difficult for you to establish concrete causal relationships, especially when assessing human behavior.

Evaluation of MoEs:

Anyone can observe actions and effects; it could be a CIMIC team, a project manager or a CIMIC Centre. Observation is as individual as each event. Observation might be event-driven. For example, you know that a local dissident against the local government plans to address the population with the purpose of discouraging the population from participating in civil governance. Deliberate assessment through interviews, polling, and surveys of those who participated in the events is as important as with those who observed the event (a CIMIC team or project manager, for example). It is now your challenge to evaluate and validate the observations. Many evaluation tools are available. Before you create your own metrics, first refer to the mission personnel responsible for mission assessment (assessment branch).

Here is a scenario for your consideration:

You and your CIMIC team have been living and working in a specific region for several months. It is a calm region. You have created a positive working relationship with the community, are welcomed into the homes and businesses of key leaders, and have been working together with the civilian population to participate in civil governance. Based on your actions and efforts, your work has resulted in positive effects in support of your commander. One day, you learn that an opposition leader to the local government plans to address the population with the purpose of changing their allegiance from the current government. Based on your research and regional awareness, you know the goal of this speaker is to destabilize the local community with his rhetoric and, in previous speeches has targeted the young university students and disenfranchised youth. Through your actions you are confident that you and your CIMIC team have built a strong rapport with the local population, which supports your commander’s objectives. But now, based upon this potential disruption to the status quo, you’ve been tasked to provide feedback from this activity to your commander.

Simplified example of MoE/MoP for CIMIC at the tactical level:

Commander’s objective (end-state): Achieve security and stability in the region.

CIMIC effect (this is the effect that you will provide to the commander, in support of his objective): Will the village population participate in civil governance (which will allow your commander access to and influence with the local population)?

Actions (those projects or activities that you and your CIMIC team plan to execute in order to encourage and influence the village populace to participate in civil governance):

  • Village leaders (political, government, religious, tribal, educational) will be identified and visited by the CIMIC team on a regular basis.
  • The CIMIC team will establish a Discussion Group in the local Internet cafes and universities in order to establish rapport with the potentially disenfranchised young adults and youth.
  • The CIMIC team will become involved with voter registration and city council meetings.

Measure of Performance (MoP) (actions executed and used):

  • The number of pro-government rallies/demonstrations in the village since 1 July.
  • Percentage of positive new media stories since 1 July.
  • Number of citizens participating in democratically elected functions since 1 July.
  • Number of citizens under the age of 25 (university and disenfranchised youth age range).

Create an evaluation tool

Many evaluation tools are available, but the “Likert scale” is a measurement commonly used in questionnaires. A Likert item is simply a statement that you ask someone to comment on in order to determine their agreement or disagreement on a topic or subject. An odd number of responses are often used. You can find many examples and samples on the Internet to assist you with creating a tool specific to your situation.

Let’s explore an example discussed above. During your planning process, you will establish the methods by which you will engage with the population. You must determine the statements you want to put forward for comment during your conversations.

Here are some suggestions:

  • I enjoyed the speaker’s presentation.
  • The topic of a new school is important to me.
  • There are other projects more important to me.
  • The speaker created an unrealistic expectation for my village.
  • Because of this presentation, I will vote for this speaker’s candidate.


Strongly Disagree




Strongly Agree











Perhaps you can ask follow-up questions, such as:

1. Question: You seemed to enjoy the speaker, but do not intend to vote for his candidate. Why is that?

  • Answer: He was very interesting and spoke with passion, but he does not represent our values.

2. Question: What project is more important than a new school?

  • Answer: Our village already has a school and a clinic, but the clinic has no equipment. It is important that my neighbours have some health care instead of building a school we do not need.

Add any other questions that you consider important, but do not make these too lengthy. Your goal is to assess the result of the rally and to determine if your effectiveness has been diminished.

Final evaluation: Using an initial baseline assessment of the degree to which the village population participated in civil governance (before the speeches), you, the CIMIC team, will subjectively assess your effectiveness and provide timely feedback to your commander.