Learning at USAID
USAID's approach to learning includes Agency-wide policies, a learning agenda and annual evaluation plan, as well as efforts to strengthen knowledge management systems, practices and culture.
USAID’s Approach to Learning
USAID program implementation incorporates monitoring, evaluation, and collaborating, learning and adapting (CLA) practices “for better development outcomes and [to] continuously improve as a learning organization that builds and uses evidence to inform decisions” (ADS 188.8.131.52). Official guidance around these practices draws from USAID’s Program Cycle Operational Policy (codified in ADS 201) and Evaluation Policy.
USAID also meets and exceeds federal requirements through its Annual Evaluation Plan and Agency Learning Agenda, which help us learn and adapt as we implement the Agency's Policy Framework. Underpinning USAID’s approach to learning is an effort to strengthen the Agency’s knowledge management and organizational learning (KMOL) systems, practices and culture. Together, this work supports USAID in strengthening how we build and use knowledge and evidence across the Agency and ensures that learning is central as USAID executes its mission.
How USAID Development Programming Works
The Program Cycle is USAID’s operational model for planning, delivering, assessing, and adapting development programming to achieve more effective and sustainable results. Find out more about the Program Cycle principles and components.
Program Cycle Overview
Find out how Monitoring, Evaluation, CLA and other Program Cycle components support four overarching principles for good development.
Strengthening Evidence-Based Decision Making
The Foundations for Evidence-based Policymaking Act of 2018 emphasizes collaboration and coordination to advance data and evidence-building functions in the Federal Government. Title 1 of the Evidence Act outlines three central processes and products: the Evidence-Building Plan or Learning Agenda, the Annual Evaluation Plan, and the Capacity Assessment for Research, Evaluation, Statistics, and Other Analysis.
Agency Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning
The knowledge of USAID staff and partners is one of the Agency’s most valuable resources, and the effectiveness of development efforts depends in large part on how well knowledge is captured, retained, managed, shared and applied. The Agency Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning (KMOL) function facilitates effective knowledge stewardship through defining and advancing policy, practice and peer learning at USAID.