Skip to main content
Community Contribution

2023’s Most Popular Content

Dec 15, 2023
Learning Lab Team

This December, we’re looking back at all the ways the Learning Lab community engaged with us in 2023. Many of you contributed blogs, resources, and events to share your perspectives on learning and adapting in development programming. This year, Learning Lab experienced exciting moments, such as the Agency Learning and Evidence Month; the first Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) Bite-sized Learning event, which focused on localization; a spring cleaning for the CLA Toolkit; and a new suite of interactive micro-trainings about the new USAID Local Capacity Strengthening Policy. 

We really felt your enthusiasm during this year’s CLA Case Competition, which received a record 154 submissions, with over 70% from first-time participants. All throughout the year, community members continued to post new content–such as The Case for Locally Led MEL: Important Lessons from Third-Party Monitoring–and share old favorites, like The 5Rs Framework in the Program Cycle. A big thank you to all of you for making this community the knowledge hub that it is.

New to the community? We invite you to explore and share! If it is your first time contributing, take a look at how to ‘Contribute Content’ for guidance on posting resources, blogs, and events. In 2024, we hope you’ll join in our themed months and submit your own content, and visit our new LinkedIn account to see what our community is saying.

Thanks again for a great year! We look forward to seeing what fresh perspectives 2024 will bring on integrating CLA, monitoring, and evaluation into development programming—take a look at the most popular Learning Lab content from 2023 below. 

Discover the Top 10 most popular 2023 Learning Lab resources and blogs below.


Top 10 Most Popular Learning Lab Content in 2023

  1. CLA Framework Maturity Tool and Spectrum Handouts Using a series of physical cards, the CLA Maturity Tool provides a clear picture of what systematic, intentional, and resourced integration of CLA can look like throughout the Program Cycle and within a mission’s culture and processes. 
  2. Evaluation Design Matrix Templates Use this matrix as an essential tool for planning and organizing an evaluation. The simple table helps address evaluation design issues such as data collection methods, data sources, analysis methods, and criteria for comparisons.
  3. Activity Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan Template After reviewing the How-To Note, check out the Activity MEL template, which provides a suggested outline and basic guidance for the development of an Activity MEL Plan by a USAID implementing partner. 
  4. Theory of Change Workbook: A Step-by-Step Process for Developing or Strengthening Theories of Change This workbook helps stakeholders work through the process of developing strong theories of change to answer questions on a program’s outcomes, entry points, interventions, and assumptions. Need more guidance? Read these fictionalized examples of context- and evidence-driven theories of change.
  5. Organizational Capacity Assessment Do you want to increase ownership of an action plan? Use the Organizational Capacity Assessment tool for a facilitated self-assessment of an organization's capacity, then follow with action planning for capacity improvements. 
  6. Locally Led Development Spectrum and Checklist Tool Use this tool to think about how USAID, its partners, and communities can work together to shift agenda-setting and decision-making power into the hands of local actors.
  7. What is Adaptive Management? Read this blog for an introduction to adaptive management and the discussion note that covers the topic more deeply. Learn more about recent and promising practices in adaptive management across the Program Cycle. 
  8. What Changes are Local Partners Asking for? Read this blog by CARE’s Emily Janoch on their Pledge for Change, and how CARE is addressing requests from partners.
  9. CLA Maturity Tool for Implementing Partners Use this version of the CLA Maturity Tool, tailored for use by USAID implementing partners (IPs), to help assess current practices and plan for incremental improvements. Working through the set of physical cards can catalyze conversations about CLA.
  10. The 5Rs Framework in the Program Cycle Read this technical note to learn more about the five key dimensions of systems: Results, Roles, Relationships, Rules and Resources. Collectively these 5Rs can serve as a lens for assessing local systems and a guide for identifying and monitoring interventions designed to strengthen them.