USAID Learning Lab?

USAID Learning Lab?

Learning Lab is USAID's platform for generating and sharing information, tools, and resources on how development practitioners can work together to integrate learning throughout the USAID Program Cycle. Here, USAID staff and partners jointly create, share, refine, and apply practical approaches to more effectively ground programs in evidence and quickly adapt based on new learning and changing contexts, thereby maximizing development outcomes.

USAID Learning Lab is open to everyone, but its content is tailored to USAID staff and development partners around the world who want to increase their collaboration and leverage their learning. Site members can share both publicly and privately.

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Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA)?

Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA)?

Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) is a set of practices that help us improve our development effectiveness. Learning has always been part of USAID’s work, and most USAID missions and implementing partners are already practicing CLA in some way. Our aim now is to make CLA more systematic and intentional throughout the Program Cycle, and to dedicate the resources necessary to make it happen.

According to USAID’s Program Cycle guidance (ADS 201.3.5.19), “Strategic collaboration, continuous learning, and adaptive management link together all components of the Program Cycle.” Integrating CLA into our work helps to ensure that our programs are coordinated with others, grounded in a strong evidence base, and iteratively adapted to remain relevant throughout implementation. The systematic application of CLA approaches, led by people who have the knowledge and resources to carry them out, enables USAID to be an effective learning organization and thereby a more effective development organization.

box with collaboratingcollaborating 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. Collaboration helps break down sectoral and institutional stovepipes; validates USAID programs against experience and local/contextual knowledge; and enhances the ability of partner country governments, organizations, commercial actors, and individuals to define and pursue their development agendas while informing USAID’s work.

box with learninglearning systematically takes place when USAID and stakeholders utilize a variety of sources of information (including data from monitoring, portfolio reviews, findings of research, evaluations, analyses conducted by USAID or third parties, knowledge gained from experience) and take the time to pause and reflect on implementation. This helps us draw on evidence and experience from many sources and employ participatory development methodologies that catalyze learning for ourselves and our stakeholders.

box with adaptingadapting effectively happens when USAID and partners apply learning and make adjustments during implementation. This is especially critical as USAID is increasingly working in countries that are unstable or in transition and even in the most stable environments, it is difficult to reliably predict how events or circumstances will evolve and impact programs. Adaptive management helps USAID respond to changes in context and new information to increase the impact of development assistance.

To learn more about what CLA looks like in practice, check out these great examples from the CLA Case Competition.

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How do I convert files to PDF?

How do I convert files to PDF?

In most cases, in order to comply with USAID accessibility requirements and to minimize the risk of sharing corrupted files, users are only able to upload PDF documents to the Learning Lab. Learn more about Accessibility.

To convert a file, such as a Word document, to PDF, there are several different options. WikiHow offers a good overview on how to create PDFs from many different formats, including Word, Word for Mac, Google Docs, and Open Office. View the step-by-step instructions.

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A Group?

A Group?

Learning Lab provides collaborative online spaces for international development professionals to build networks, identify good practices, and find solutions to problems. Browse through the existing working groups to find other practitioners and professionals interested in a particular subject or field. Group membership varies from group to group. Some groups are open to all Learning Lab members; others are invite-only. Group members can post new discussions, comment, and share resources with a small community of goal-oriented professionals.

For more information, visit the Working Groups Resource Center.

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Request a new password if I forgot my existing password?

Request a new password if I forgot my existing password?

  1. Click the "Log In" link featured at the top of every page on the Learning Lab.
  2. Click on the “Forgot password?” link in the window that pops up.
  3. Enter your Learning Lab username or email address.
  4. Click the "Send" button.

 

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How do I search for a library resource?

How do I search for a library resource?

There are two main ways to search through the Learning Lab library:

  • You can enter keywords into the “search” box located in the blue menu bar. This will return results from across the site, but you can filter the results using the terms and tags located in the right-hand column.
  • If you’d rather just browse the library, click on the “Resources” tab in the main menu and select “Learning Library.” You can then use the filters in the Library by selecting the terms and tags that interest you in the right-hand column to narrow down your selections.
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A “USAID Official” v. “USAID Contribution” v. ”Community Contribution” document or event?

A “USAID Official” v. “USAID Contribution” v. ”Community Contribution” document or event?

The USAID Learning Lab website is a knowledge-sharing collaborative space where USAID staff and partners jointly create, share, refine and apply practical approaches in order to ground our programs in evidence and adapt quickly to new learning and changing contexts, maximizing development outcomes. In order to create a robust repository of information, Learning Lab accepts relevant resource contributions from many different sources. Learning Lab uses the following tags to help categorize documents and/or blog articles according to the author or funding organization:

  • USAID Official: Approved USAID strategies, policies, and related guidance documents. 
  • USAID Contribution: Content submitted by USAID staff members or affiliates that is not official Agency-wide guidance. This includes event resources, technical papers, and resources created by other organizations.
  • Community Contribution: Content submitted by community members or any resources that do not fit into the two categories mentioned above.

Read the "How do I Contribute to the Site?" FAQs for more information on how to submit content. Inclusion on the site does not imply USAID approval or sponsorship of this content.

Disclaimer:

Learning Lab is managed by USAID’s Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning through the USAID LEARN contract implemented by Dexis Consulting Group. All content not generated in whole or in part from this funding mechanism is labeled a Community Contribution unless otherwise directed by USAID or the USAID LEARN contract. All content, with or without the Community Contribution label, does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government. For full policies on content submission, please see the Terms of Use.

The USAID LEARN contract does not claim ownership of content you submit. By submitting content for inclusion on USAID Learning Lab, you grant the USAID LEARN contract (the site's administrator) permission to publish your content online and to be accessible to a public audience.

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ProgramNet?

ProgramNet?

ProgramNet is USAID's internal, interactive online community devoted to sharing knowledge and promoting learning on implementing the Program Cycle. Managed by the Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning (PPL), ProgramNet provides a platform for peer-to-peer and mission-to-Washington dialogue to support collaboration and facilitate more effective implementation of the Program Cycle. The ProgramNet website is only accessible to staff and hosts SBU information and guidance related to the USAID Program Cycle.

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Change my privacy settings?

Change my privacy settings?

In keeping with the fact that Learning Lab is intended to be a collaborative community, the default privacy settings for information you share in your profile are set to “Public.” This means that anyone visiting Learning Lab, whether they are a member or not, can view your information. Information with a “Public” setting is also searchable through internet search engines like Google.

Your other options are to set information so that it is viewable only by other Learning Lab members or that it is completely hidden except to site administrators.

To change your settings, follow these steps:

1. Sign into Learning Lab.

How to log in

2. Access your account settings by clicking on your user name in the top menu bar.

How to access your account settings

3. Scroll to the bottom to find the Private Settings and make any changes you’d like.

Privacy setting options

4. Click “Save Changes”

Location

Nigeria
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Share my expertise through Ask & Answer?

Share my expertise through Ask & Answer?

Ask & Answer is a space for the community to share knowledge by contributing to conversations about learning approaches for development. Both questions and answers may come from USAID and its partners or Learning Lab members at large. Browse posted questions by visiting the Ask & Answer page. Questions are organized by most recent and most active. From the main page, you can see how many people have responded to a question as well as how many people have viewed the question and its responses. 

Please remember that while everyone can browse the Ask & Answer conversation, only Learning Lab members who are logged in to the site can post questions and answers. To respond to an Ask & Answer question, click on the question (you’ll see the link in red) and you’ll find a “Post New Answer” button at the bottom of the page. Click on the button, enter a title for your post in the “Subject” field, and write your answer in the box beneath it.

It is also a good idea to browse the responses already provided to avoid duplication. See something you agree or disagree with? Let the community know. Your post may even be featured in the "Featured Answer" box!

As part of the crowdsourcing process for answers, we encourage the Learning Lab community to get involved, share their expertise, and help elevate the most valuable responses by “voting up” answers they find most useful. Answers with the most votes will appear at the top of the list.

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Related FAQs for Contributing to the site

Share my expertise through Ask & Answer?


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