Building Bridges to Collaboration: How Co-Creation Led to the Puentes Activity

Nov 27, 2017 by Laura Villegas Comments (0)

Infographic about USAID/Guatemala

Organizational Challenge: The USAID/Guatemala Health and Education Office was considering a new project to address the challenge of out-of-school, unemployed youth in the Western Highlands.

CLA Approach:

  • CLA in Implementing Mechanisms: USAID/Guatemala used a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) to invite a group of implementing partners to pool their expertise, debate options and ideas, and collectively propose an approach at the project design phase.
  • Openness: To establish a culture of openness and trust right from the beginning, the USAID team met with partners to get to know them and explain the process. Once convened, the planning team organized activities to establish relationships, build trust, and facilitate collaboration among partners.
  • External Collaboration: The facilitator invited participants to improvise a story about “Juana,” a young woman from the region who had neither an education nor a job. The story inspired participants to work together on Juana’s behalf, and they occasionally returned to the story as they discussed options for project interventions, reminding themselves of the bigger picture that brought them together.  

Outcomes: With project kick-off in June 2017, Puentes has only just begun implementation. However, the BAA produced a comprehensive approach incorporating multiple sectors. And, the mission is exploring how to improve internal collaboration between sectors, such as with knowledge-sharing activities between staff that go beyond exchanging activity updates. In addition, the BAA has opened staff’s eyes to the reality that the mission may not have all the answers and that excellent ideas can originate from outside the Agency.

Read the full case here.

This blog post is part of a series featuring the 10 winners of the 2017 Collaborating, Learning and Adapting Case Competition. A new case will be posted on USAID Learning Lab each Thursday: October 12 - December 14.

Filed Under: 2017 Winners