After-Action Review (AAR) Guidance

Comments (1)
Date Published:
April 1, 2012
USAID Contribution

This guidance provides information on conducting an After-Action Review (AAR), including goals, assumptions/requirements, how-tos, lessons learned/best practice, and resources. It should be used after a project or major activity to allow team members and leaders to discover (learn) what happened and why, reassess direction, and review both successes and challenges.

This brief was written to support USAID and partners with collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) throughout the Program Cycle. It utilizes experience from the Knowledge-Driven Microenterprise Development project to share good practices, how-tos, and lessons learned about concepts and activities related to knowledge management and learning.


ckobill wrote:

I know there is a variation in terminology in how learning after is described.  I believe that what you are describing may also be called a Retrospect.

The After Action Review was developed by the US Army as a short, in the moment opportunity to learn while doing focused on what turned out differently than plannned and what can be done to immediatley get back on course then or the next time that activity is executed.

AARs ask 4 questions:

1. What were we trying to do?

2. Did we do it?

3. If not, why didn't we?

4. What can be learned to immediately apply and do differently the next time?


posted 5 years ago