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Community Contribution

CLA Culture and Outcomes in USAID Morocco's FORSATY Program

Vincent Carbonneau

While change can be achieved with Program resources during implementation – using significant resources not locally available, the central development challenge of the USAID/FORSATY program was sustainability beyond. This drove FORSATY to implement CLA as a core operating principle with partners.

The experience of FORSATY with CLA highlights the importance of enabling conditions and the interdependence of CLA philosophy with management culture. CLA was introduced two years into the Program by a change in Chief of Party. Enabling conditions of openness and sharing – of co-ownership, were not present under the first CoP, and were valued by the second.

The CLA approach worked from the inside outward, first establishing a culture of openness through a thorough reassessment of expected outcomes and approaches involving all staff. Internal knowledge management and decision-making processes were constructed on this basis. From there, external collaboration with implementing partners was overhauled to bring partners closer into the change management taking place. Adaptive management was a result but also an enabler of the culture and processes introduced.

The first resulting adaptations produced FORSATY’s clearest demonstration of direct impact on radicalized individuals and of effective actions among the sub-group most at-risk. The most determinant difference attributable to the CLA approach was during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, thousands of beneficiaries and CSO and program staff members went into confinement overnight. The CLA approach was instrumental in keeping most beneficiaries participating and progressing during the confinement period, through rapid adaptation to an exclusively online environment. Two subcomponents most reflected: Internal Collaboration; Adaptive Management.

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