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CLA Evidence Collection

Building the Case for Collaborating, Learning and Adapting

For knowledge and learning specialists in international development, questions about what works within this practice area and what evidence might exist to support claims of effectiveness are common. To answer these questions for ourselves and others, the Office of Learning, Evaluation and Research in what was previously USAID’s Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning (PPL/LER) conducted a learning agenda to systematically address: 

  • Does an intentional, systematic and resourced approach to collaborating, learning, and adapting contribute to development outcomes?
  • If so, how? And under what conditions?

The CLA Evidence Collection in this section starts to fill the evidence gaps and synthesize existing evidence from a wide range of disciplines around the practices and approaches associated with collaborating, learning and adapting.

Evidence Base for CLA (EB4CLA)

Research on the impact of strategic collaboration, organizational learning and adaptive management approaches to international development is relatively scarce, scattered and disparate. Between 2015-2020, USAID, along with its partners, embarked on a formal evidence gathering and analysis effort, which included several complementary lines of inquiry:

For example, evidence tells us that:

Browse Full Evidence Collection

Click on one of the six components of the CLA Framework below to view a summary of the evidence and a list of all of the articles and studies we’ve compiled on that topic. There, you can filter by more specific CLA approaches.

Contribute to the Evidence Collection

Maintaining and expanding the value and relevance of this evidence collection is a community-wide effort! Some key learning questions that still remain include (among others): what do we understand about resourcing CLA collaborating, learning and adapting?, and how can we measure CLA’s contributions, both at the level of individual activities and especially in the aggregate? If you have evidence or analysis that surfaces learning on how collaborating, learning and adapting contributes to organizational effectiveness and/or development results, please submit your content Learning Lab!