Featured User: Addi Qatamin
Like collaborating, learning and adapting (CLA), USAID Learning Lab is community-driven. In our broader efforts to highlight this community-driven approach, I recently spoke with Addi Qatamin, a Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Specialist at Management Systems International (MSI) working with USAID/Jordan, to learn what matters to him regarding CLA and the USAID Learning Lab community.
Why does learning matter to you?
Having steadily cultivated a career in M&E and given my extensive work in the international development field with the UN as well as USAID funded projects, I have developed a passionate interest in continuous learning which I believe is becoming more crucial given the ever-increasing rate of accumulated knowledge as it is estimated in a recent study; that knowledge doubles every 12 months. This has further spurred my interest in playing an active role— however small—, and one thing I learned is that professional growth involves being in a constant state of readiness and willingness to incorporate opportunities and experiences as they come along and learning ensures you will never get stuck in knowledge silos and enables you to strengthen your weaker areas while also developing your strengths and ongoing professional development is the only way to ensure that you are competent and skillful in your role.
Why do you use USAID Learning Lab?
As partners establish and consolidate relationships with each other, they draw upon knowledge embedded in those relationships and Learning Lab gives me the opportunity to access new knowledge and know-how beyond my organization’s boundaries, making it simple to internalize newly proven tools. Moreover, following a CLA facilitation course I have taken recently, I have made it my personal mission to familiarize myself and stay up-to-date with all the practical applications posted on Learning Lab. I firmly believe that CLA will expand its reach and as a result will significantly enrich the way organizations approach planning and M&E.
How does USAID Learning Lab help you in your work?
Unlike most projects/activities, we play a technical advisory and cross-cutting role and that requires us to be one-step ahead at all times so we are in a better position to provide up-to-date support to our partners. A part of our mandate is to provide broad and targeted capacity building efforts to our partners through several approaches (including training, coaching, document reviews, etc.) and having access to an ever-expanding treasure trove of toolkits comes in handy quite often for this function.
Additionally, realizing that organizations do not develop naturally into learning organizations, I use Learning Lab to look for the latest tools and trends that I can utilize to facilitate our continued effort in transforming into one; and making use of what Learning Lab has to offer, our organization can concentrate its efforts on investing in promoting a culture of learning and knowledge sharing. So far, the tools we utilized have helped us understand that within a learning organization, collective knowledge is gathered; and because of the synergy formed, is greater than the sum of each individual’s knowledge.