June 1 - July 15
November 1 - 29
Fan Favorite Voting
Thank you for your submissions to the 2016 CLA Case Competition! We are reviewing them and will announce winners on Monday, September 12th, 2016.
The CLA Case Competition submissions period was June 1 - July 15 and was open to all types of individuals and organizations affiliated with USAID, including USAID missions and operating units (OUs). The competition gives participants an opportunity to promote their work and contribute to good practice that advances our understanding of collaborating, learning, and adapting in action.
Collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) have long been a part of USAID’s work. USAID staff and implementing partners have always sought ways to better understand the development process and USAID’s contribution to it, to collaborate in order to speed and deepen results, to share the successes and lessons of USAID’s initiatives, and to institute improvements to programs and operations. Through this case competition, USAID and its LEARN mechanism seek to capture and share the stories of those efforts.
As we seek to more effectively tackle complex development issues—such as economic growth, food security, climate change, and health—we are challenged to consider more effective ways to collaborate, learn, and adapt. USAID and its implementing partners have developed a wide range of methods to enhance their programs and operations by strengthening CLA practices. CLA works best when customized to its context, but it often helps to have examples of what is working so far.
In order to surface and celebrate these CLA examples and encourage more systematic and intentional planning and resourcing of CLA, the Office of Learning, Evaluation, and Research in USAID’s Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning launches an annual CLA Case Competition for USAID staff and implementing partners. We seek to clearly demonstrate the value of the diverse USAID and implementing partner activities and initiatives worldwide that embody collaborating, learning, and adapting.
This case competition aims to:
- Discover, document, and share CLA practices, both nascent and established
- Facilitate a collaborative learning process around the impact of CLA in improving development practices
- Identify practical tools and advance promising practices for collaborating, learning, and/or adapting
- Strengthen a CLA community of practice and broader practitioner networking to fuel continued exchange and joint action
- Practitioners from around the world will be invited to submit short entries that describe their experience with an approach relevant to CLA that has impacted their work and ultimately contributes to stronger development results.
Case stories collected will be featured on USAID Learning Lab and ProgramNet, offering practices and tools that could be taken up and adapted by others. Discoveries from the review of case stories will feed the peer-learning process online and in person at the Competition Showcase proposed in October 2016 (exact date TBD). The CLA Case Competition is intended to initiate a dialogue and process of shared learning.
The 2016 CLA Case Competition submission period lasted from June 1—July 15 and resulted in 63 qualifying entries from 11 USAID missions and operating units and 37 implementing partners in 26 countries. A team of judges from the USAID LEARN contract read all 63 entries and selected finalists to be reviewed by a panel of judges in the USAID Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning. After much deliberation, five top cases were identified. Winners were announced in September and awards were distributed to winners at a CLA event in November 2016.
The 2016 CLA Case Competition Winner and Finalist Cases are:
Judging & Prizes
- CLA in Action - Does the case story clearly demonstrate how a CLA tool or approach was used and what the outcome was?
- Analysis - Does the case story reflect on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the tool/approach used? Is the case transparent and honest in highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly?
- Holistic Approach to CLA - Does the case story represent a holistic approach to C, L, and A? Does the case demonstrate a systematic, intentional, and resourced approach to CLA? Framework components: collaborating, learning, adapting, culture, processes, and resources.
- Replicability - Does the case story identify key lessons that can be used to improve future practice, either within your team or by others?
Supporting materials—including photos, graphics, existing video footage, etc.—will also be considered as they contribute to the above criteria.
Evaluation Process and Categories
A panel of judges from USAID/PPL and the USAID LEARN contract will review all entries using the criteria listed above and score each criteria on a scale of 0 to 4. An aggregate score from multiple reviewers will help identify entries of higher relative quality that merit deeper exploration and follow-up.
New In 2016: Case Competition submissions will be evaluated in three categories: general, Emerging CLA, and Small or Local Business. To include your submission in the Emerging CLA or Small or Local Business categories, please be sure to select these options when completing the submission form.
Expense-paid Travel Prize.c The case story submissions chosen for this prize will be invited to share their story and be recognized at the CLA Competition Showcase in Washington, DC, in October 2016 (exact date TBD).
Three Expense-paid Travel Prizes will be awarded in the general category, one will be awarded in the Emerging CLA category, and one will be awarded in the Small or Local Organization category.
Professional Development Awards.b This award of up to US$500 can only be applied toward the tuition or registration fees for an approved training course or conference of your choice related to CLA, KM, adaptive management, new approaches in M&E, etc. The eligibility of the training course/conference will be determined by the implementer of the LEARN Program, Dexis Consulting Group. Winning an Expense-paid Travel Prize does not preclude you from being selected for a Professional Development Award.
Two submissions will be chosen for the professional development award. One will be determined during the online Fan Favorite voting period, September 12 - October (exact date TBD), and one will be chosen during the Case Competition Showcase event in October 2016.
aPlease note that government employees, although encouraged to participate in the Case Competition, are not eligible to receive professional development or travel award prizes due to government regulations.
bProfessional Development Awards only apply towards tuition or registration fees or other costs directly associated with a training, conference, or other relevant professional development opportunity. Travel and per diem costs are not covered.
cWhile we can help by providing letters of invitation, USAID/PPL and the USAID LEARN contract are not responsible for ensuring the issuance of travel visas, so expense-paid travel awards are contingent upon the recipient successfully obtaining a visa in a timely manner.
What is Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA)?
USAID organizes its work through a Program Cycle of strategy, planning, implementation, and assessment practices designed to improve development results. A key element of this Program Cycle is the integration of collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) throughout Program Cycle processes. The integration of CLA aims to:
- Improve the quality and relevance of development programs by grounding them in evidence
- Make programs adaptive to new learning and changing contexts
- Extend USAID’s influence through sharing knowledge and collaborating with other development actors
- Catalyze learning among country development actors to build capacity and facilitate country-led development
[ C ]
|Collaborating intentionally happens when USAID and stakeholders identify areas of shared interest and work together where it makes sense, reduce duplication of efforts, and share knowledge across sectoral and institutional boundaries.|
[ L ]
|Learning systematically takes place when USAID and stakeholders utilize performance monitoring data, take time to pause and reflect on implementation, and review and synthesize relevant assessments and evaluations. This helps us draw on evidence and experience from many sources to share what works and what doesn’t, and employ participatory development methodologies that catalyze learning for stakeholders.|
[ A ]
|Adapting effectively happens when USAID and partners apply learning and make iterative course corrections during implementation to increase the impact of development assistance.|
The CLA Case Competition is managed by USAID LEARN, a Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning (PPL) mechanism implemented by Dexis Consulting Group and its partner, Engility Corporation.