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Glossary of Terms Used for USAID's Automated Directives System (ADS) - Updated 07/15/2011 Partial Revision

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Term Definition
Market Imperfection

A market imperfection exists where the capital markets fail to provide private sector lending to otherwise creditworthy projects or sectors. DCA allows USAID to act as a guarantor - lender of last resort to bridge these market imperfections (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 249).

Market Test

The principle that the value that people attach to any goods or services provided to them must be at least equal to the amount they are willing to pay for those goods or services (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 219).


The physical act of indicating on national security information the proper classification levels, the classification authority, the Agency and office of origin, declassification and downgrading instructions, and special markings which limit the use of the classified information (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 562, 568).

Marking Plan

A plan that USAID Implementing partners provide detailing the public communications, commodities, program materials and other items that will visibly bear or be marked with the USAID Identity. It also requests any exceptions to marking (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 320).

Master Positive

A positive print made from the original negative film and used to prepare duplicate negatives (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 502).

Matching Agreement

The agreement establishing the terms of a matching program between USAID and another Federal or non-Federal agency (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 508).

Matching Program

A computerized comparison of two or more automated system of records (SOR) or a SOR with non-Federal records (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 508).

Material Weakness

A significant deficiency or combination of significant deficiencies that is significant enough to be reported to OMB and Congress. Generally such a weakness would a) significantly impair the organization's ability to achieve its objectives b) result in the use of resources in a way that is inconsistent with Agency mission c) violate statutory or regulatory requirements. d) result in a significant lack of safeguards against waste, loss, unauthorized use, or misappropriation of funds, property, or other assets. e) impair the ability to obtain, maintain, report, and use reliable and timely information for decision making, or f) permit improper ethical conduct or a conflict of interest (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 596).

Measure Of Performance

A scale against which the fulfillment of a requirement can be measured (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 528).

Measurement Sensitive Data

Data whose meaning or application depends substantially on some measured quantity (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 505).


Actions, procedures, devices or other means for effecting energy efficient changes in general operations which can be applied by Federal agencies (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 528).

Medevac Insurance

Insurance to cover the cost of medical evacuation of USAID contractors and their dependents, applicable to all U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent resident aliens, and third country nationals. Cooperating country nationals are not eligible (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 322).


A broad term that normally defines physical devices in all formats that store and communicate information. Some examples of media as they relate to computers are: CDRoms, tapes, diskettes, disk drives, memory sticks, and others (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 545).


The middle value in a distribution. As applied for example to the loan portfolio of a microfinance institution, calculated by arranging its loans from smallest to largest and observing the value of the loan in the middle of that distribution (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 219).

Medical Emergency

A medical condition of an employee or a family likely to require the employee's prolonged absence from duty and to result in a substantial loss of income to the employee because of the unavailability of paid leave (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 482).

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