Effectiveness and Efficiency: CLA integration in Damrey Emergency Response in Vietnam
To improve organizational learning and effectively address programmatic challenges, CRS Vietnam has made deliberate efforts to operationalize the USAID-initiated CLA approach. Through a Start Network-funded emergency response to the worst flooding in nearly 20 years caused by the Damrey typhoon, five CLA subcomponents contributed to an efficient and effective disaster response, enabling CRS to serve 7,622 affected households. Strong and strategic internal and external collaboration among CRS staff and between key stakeholders provided effective support for continuous learning. Relevant data and evidence were consistently and continually captured, shared, and used for timely programmatic decision making. Quantitative and qualitative monitoring data were reflected upon and analyzed daily to inform course corrections. A culture of openness to alternative perspectives and a willingness to act combined with sharing updated information and learning internally and externally contributed to the development of trusting relationships within CRS and with other key stakeholders. CRS Vietnam staff actively and intentionally engaged in generating, capturing, sharing and applying learning in a systematic way, illustrating good knowledge management practices and increasing their CLA ownership. Enabling factors included supportive leadership, deliberate attention to making data available and accessible, and staff’s increased awareness of adaptive management. However, challenges to CLA included limited time investment in reflection and a level of unwillingness to adapt old habits The success of CLA use motivates us to apply it more deliberately in other current and future projects, particularly as one of many emergency responders in Vietnam collectively seeking to identify consistent best practices for cash distribution.