Cultivating a CLA Culture to Ensure Results: The NAFAKA Evolution

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Daniel Robinson, Hamisi Mwango
Date Published:
September 12, 2018
Community Contribution

When a long-standing team needs to shift its approach for a transition from one project to another, how do you create a culture that enables this evolution? This is the challenge ACDI/VOCA’s NAFAKA-II program faced head-on. The USAID-funded Feed the Future Tanzania NAFAKA-II Activity, a four-year program awarded to ACDI/VOCA in July 2016, is a follow-on to a previous five-year program. The transition between the two programs focused on shifting from a production-based agricultural program to a market facilitation approach impacting over 80,000 rice and/or maize producing households. NAFAKA II has three components: facilitating access to improved agricultural inputs, producer organizations (POs) facilitating business development services (BDS), and establishing market linkages between program beneficiaries and milling/processing actors. Given the dynamic market context and programmatic focus on facilitation, a CLA-oriented culture was imperative to delivering results, and to encouraging openness and idea sharing in order to prepare staff for the new program objective - facilitating market access.   

Key initiatives to build this culture include:

  1. Promoting an internal staff member to a dedicated CLA position
  2. Revamped team meeting agendas and CLA modeling by leadership
  3. CLA and Technical “break-out” sessions for work-planning and program reviews
  4. Activities (e.g., Business to Business (B2B) meetings) expanded
  5. WhatsApp groups to ease real-time communication between staff across distant geographies
  6. PowerPoint-free CLA Summits before and after annual workplanning
  7. Team building events for relationship building