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The USAID/Uganda School Health and Reading Program (SHRP), the Literacy Achievement and Retention Activity (LARA) along with the Uganda Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), made significant, steady impact on early grade reading throughout Uganda, but we believe it could be greater. Despite the pervasive learning orientation from the onset, teams did not always take action to adapt to challenges uncovered in monitoring and evaluative efforts. We, jokingly, coined the phrase "lessons not learned" as challenges persisted without commensurate action.
With CLA institutionalized and in regular use (including after action debriefs and deliberate pause and reflect moments), this year it was the learning agenda that came to the forefront to push learning and adaptation even further. As learning agenda discussions progressed, we saw what a powerful tool it could be. First, to bring partners and technical teams into research and learning (to increase ownership and use of results), and also as a communication and coordination tool. Partners combine ideas, energy and resources to identify and solve challenges through research and learning. It also incorporates and track MoES research needs and priorities.
Initial results are positive as technical teams are putting forth learning activities for the agenda and pairing with M and E teams to undertake the research. Just this month, we jointly designed action research to compare large scale residential teacher training to smaller, local training which will guide future MoES training efforts. We believe this is a model that can be used by programs or institutions who are looking to increase learning to action.