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Community Contribution

Announcement of CLA Learning Network Launch

Sep 29, 2016
Jennifer Dahnke

USAID’s Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning (PPL), together with the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment’s localworks program, is pleased to announce the launch of a Learning Network focused on building the evidence base for Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA). Five awards have been made to organizations who will engage in a co-creation process to collaboratively advance understanding of measuring and demonstrating the effects and potential impact of material investments in strategic collaboration, program and organizational learning, and adaptive management.

Specifically, this activity aims to understand, measure, and assess the impact of collaborating, learning, and adapting in international development. Partners will jointly advance approaches to answering the following questions:

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

The five partners will help PPL transform the way USAID and others in the knowledge management/organizational learning and international development sectors understand the principles, approaches, and value of collaborating, learning, and adapting.

The partners include:

  • Counterpart International—will focus on the Participatory Responsive Governance—Principal Activity (PRG-PA) in Niger to measure the degree to which staff use CLA-generated knowledge and learning in planning activities and executing decisions in their daily work and the degree of empowerment that participants feel they have in those activities.
  • The Global Knowledge Initiative—will pursue replicable approaches for monitoring and evaluating collaboration by testing and refining the Context-Collaboration-Program Effects (CCPE) Analysis on the Learning and Innovation Network for Knowledge and Solutions (LINKS) program in Uganda.
  • MarketShare Associates—will build and test a set of CLA-focused tactics such as coaching modules on adaptive management and pivot logs through the DFID-funded Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund (AWEF) in Egypt.
  • Mercy Corps—will field test promising techniques for promoting adaptive management through pilot projects as part of the Analysis Driven Agile Programming Techniques (ADAPT) initiative.
  • Pollen Group—will conduct two comparative, longitudinal case studies of projects that have made significant investments in CLA in Bangladesh and Zambia.

The Learning Network will be jointly managed by two USAID-funded contracts: Feed the Future Knowledge-Driven Agricultural Development Project (KDAD), who will cover the grants management portion, and LEARN, who will facilitate the Learning Network.

The five grantee organizations were competitively selected from 18 applications. The KDAD, LEARN, and USAID/PPL teams hope that all interested parties will stay connected to USAID’s efforts to promote an intentional and systematic approach to collaborating, learning, and adapting in development programming. USAID Learning Lab is the best way to stay connected to new opportunities, resources, and other USAID and implementing partner colleagues working on CLA. If you aren’t already a member, we encourage you to sign up to:

  • Access and share collaborating, learning, and adapting tools and resources
  • Join a USAID Learning Lab working group to engage with others practicing CLA
  • Contribute a Learning Lab blog when you have new insights about and approaches to CLA

Below are Katherine Haugh's Visual Notes from the Learning Network Launch event on Monday, September 26th, 2016: