Congratulations to the Winners of the 2017 CLA Case Competition!

Sep 12, 2017 by Amy Leo Comments (0)
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**Click here to access a recording of the announcement webinar on Tuesday, September 12th.**

We were excited to receive exactly 100 submissions in the third-annual Collaborating, Learning and Adapting Case Competition, which was open from May 1 - June 16, 2017. The CLA Case Competition:

  • Captures real-life case studies of USAID staff and implementing partners using a CLA approach for organizational learning and better development outcomes;
  • Identifies enablers and barriers to CLA integration; and
  • Contributes to the evidence base for CLA.

This year, we also used it to solicit examples of evaluation utilization, though not exclusively (any and all CLA approaches were considered!).Cases are posted on USAID Learning Lab and featured in blogs, podcasts, and CLA events.

The first step in our judging process was to read all 100 cases and narrow them down to a pool of finalists. Here they are, in alphabetical order by organization (congratulations!):

Due to the high volume of submissions this year, we decided to select 10 winners instead of the usual 5. In no particular order:

Leveraging the Annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey for Reflection and Change

Author: Elizabeth Callender
Organization: USAID/Senegal
Country: Senegal

CLA Approach:

  • Used the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) as a tool to generate organizational and cultural change
  • Designed the process to strengthen relationships and empower employees to communicate and problem-solve

Practice What You Preach: A Tool for Staff Transformation

Author: Pranati Mohanraj, Emily Janoch & Emily Hillenbrand
Organization: CARE
Country: Mali

CLA Approach:

  • Noticed that it was hard to get communities to change their gender norms, so staff decided to examine their own behaviors first
  • Invented a tool to collect data and create safe spaces for conversation about behavior change
  • Adapted work plan accordingly
  • Result: Women farmers were more likely to have control over household assets (from 10% at baseline to 47% at endline) and more likely to be involved in decisions about income and expenditures (now 48% from 25% at baseline)

Learning and Adapting Enables Civil Society Innovations in Cambodia

Author: Katie Heuisler
Organization: DAI Global, LLC
Country: Cambodia

CLA Approach:

  • Pursued evidence-based learning by conducting a rapid demand survey, using online forms, focus groups discussions, and interviews
  • Based on mid-term evaluation findings and rapid demand survey, adapted programmatic approach to focus on scaling piloted tech training services and establishing local implementing partners to take over key services  

Nigeria Education Crisis Response: Using Feedback Loops to Drive Project Success

CAI PhotoAuthor: Jake Thomsen
Organization: Creative Associates International
Country: Nigeria

CLA Approach: 

  • Employed feedback loops to gather evidence and adapted when necessary
  • Convened meetings to brainstorm evidence-based solutions
  • Shared experience with stakeholders in other regions so that they could learn from the process and adjust implementation in their geographic areas

Stop, Reflect, Improve: Using CLA to Engage Men to Improve Women and Children's Health

Manoff Group photoAuthor: Melissa Antal
Organization: The Manoff Group
Country: Zimbabwe

CLA Approach:

  • Based on mid-project survey that showed behaviors were not improving, engaged men and women in consultative process that identified behaviors that could be promoted with men
  • Leveraged respected local leaders to discuss men’s roles and responsibilities in infant and young child feeding
  • Result: Study found a statistically significant improvement in key behaviors in pilot area

Scenario Planning for Assistance to Yemen

Author: Laura McAdams
Organization: USAID/Middle East
Country: Yemen

CLA Approach:

  • Used a facilitated process for scenario planning
  • Identified key themes used them to build out four draft scenarios most likely to unfold over the following 18 months
  • Held various roundtables to validate scenarios and solicit feedback
  • Planned quarterly reviews to re-validate and revise scenarios and contextual indicators

No One Can Know Everything: Collaborating for Better Evaluation Recommendations

Author: Kenana Amin
Organization: USAID/Jordan Program Office
Country: Jordan

CLA Approach:

  • Enhanced the utility of evaluations for learning and adaptive management
  • Improved collaboration between evaluation team members and USAID activity managers to ensure that evaluation recommendations were implemented
  • Added a workshop to evaluation process for stakeholders to co-generate actionable recommendations

Making Connections, Measuring Results: CLA in a Food Security Program in Zambia

Author: Erin Baldridge & Guy Sharrock
Organization: Catholic Relief Services
Country: Zambia

  • Reflected on feedback from farmers who applied project-promoted technologies
  • Used demonstration plots to test an adapted technology in response to weeding concerns
  • Encouraged farmers to observe and make sense of demo plots by comparing intercrops planted in trials

Collaborating, Learning and Adapting to Build Resilience in Fragile States

Author: Joanna Springer & Patrick O'Mahony
Organization: Global Communities
Country: South Sudan

CLA Approach:

  • Developed learning agenda to test development hypothesis and pilot and document good practices for strengthening resilience capacities
  • Created M&E tools and reporting procedures that addressed learning agenda
  • Created lessons learned tracker
  • Prepared community dashboards to inform project prioritization

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

Author: Laura Villegas
Organization: USAID/Guatemala
Country: Guatemala

CLA Approach:

  • Used a Broad Agency Announcement to invite partners to collaborate early in the project design process
  • Established trust and facilitated co-creation among a group of partners that usually compete for bids  

Click here to view and search the winner and finalist cases on the CLA Case Competition page.

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