USAID Learning Contract
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How do you integrate CLA within a project appraisal document
We are currently writing project appraisal documents and i would like to understand what the CLA section looks like..... what kind of considerations should we be paying more attention in this section

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Monica Matts | USAID - PPL
Jan 19, 2017
Hi Ruth,
Thanks for your question. The Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning is currently working on a How-To note that describes what should be included in the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Plan for a project appraisal document. It should be available soon on ProgramNet, if you have access to that. In the meantime, I can give you a preview.
First, if the Mission has a CLA Plan as part of its Performance Management Plan at the strategy level, then the project learning plan should flow from that and reflect and relate to its objectives and principles. 
Second, the learning plan should be an outgrowth of the project's theory of change or logic model. In developing the theory of change, did the team identify gaps in knowledge? What does the project team want to learn during implementation? How will those questions be addressed--through monitoring data, evaluations, other analytic work? How will it be shared?  The project design phase is also the time to consider whether it makes sense to build in some experimentation and testing into activities. 
Third, the plan should address how collaboration will assist with learning. How will the Mission facilitate collaboration among implementing partners under the project? Which stakeholders should be engaged during implementation? How will the team work with them?
Finally, how will the project and its activities adapt based on learning? It would be helpful to include here a description of plans for critical reflection and to consider whether and when "pause and reflect" moments would be helpful to inform design or implementation. Will this happen as part of other Mission processes, or will you need periodic project reviews? ADS 201.3.3.14 provides some example activities that may be helpful to reference.
We may also suggest that project design is a good time to consider using the CLA maturity self-assessment and planning tool. It could help the project team decide on and prioritize areas of focus.
Hope that helps!
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