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Community Contribution

CLA By Design: USAID/Jordan Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Apprenticeship Program

Shadi Tanash, Nedjma Koval, Nikki Zimmerman
Jordan faces significant development challenges amidst regional instability. As the largest donor, USAID Jordan has made substantial investments in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL). However, Jordan's development sector suffers from an acute shortage of qualified MEL professionals. A needs assessment further revealed the majority of implementing partner (IP) MEL professionals had under two years’ experience with no formal MEL training. 
The MEL Apprenticeship Program addresses this development challenge through a 6-month practicum-based capacity building program. Participants receive 4 weeks of classroom training and are then placed in apprenticeships with IPs to learn to apply their skills on the job.
To support continuous improvement, MESP intentionally and systematically incorporated collaborating, learning and adapting (CLA) into the design. Intensive collaboration between MSI and its local partner INTEGRATED in co-design and co-delivery of the program resulted in high levels of staff confidence to implement experimental programs and ownership. This ownership enabled INTEGRATED to now become the lead implementer of the program, and increased the likelihood of sustainably addressing the shortage of qualified MEL professionals. External collaboration with IPs was critical to provide solutions tailored to IP needs. Systematic learning processes (performance assessments, evaluations, and feedback loops) informed real-time and annual adaptation of the curriculum and structure of mentorship during the OJT, increasing the effectiveness of the program. Currently, 22 organizations have been supported, with 25 of 28 graduates securing full-time MEL jobs. Responding to demand, the program expanded this year, with 12 apprentices expanding MEL capacity for 6 local organizations and 1 IP.

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