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USAID Contribution

CLA Framework, Maturity Tool and Spectrum Handouts


The CLA Maturity Tool helps USAID Missions think more deliberately about how to plan for and implement CLA approaches that fit the Mission’s context and needs. It offers examples of what CLA looks like at different stages of maturity, enabling that staff to both assess current practice and plan for the future. The CLA Maturity Tool for Implementing Partners similarly encourages meaningful conversation about what approach to CLA might be best tailored to an organizational or project context. It recognizes the diversity of what CLA can look like in various organizations and projects while also giving CLA structure, clarity, and coherence.

Using a series of physical cards, the CLA Maturity Tool provides a clear picture of what systematic, intentional, and resourced integration of CLA can look like throughout the Program Cycle and within a mission’s culture and processes. Working through the cards together can catalyze conversations about CLA, and enables you to:

  • Self-Assess: assess the current state of your CLA practice across the dimensions in the matrix
  • Establish Vision: determine the aspirational future state for your CLA practice across the same dimensions
  • Action Plan: through prioritization, identify where and how to focus future efforts to strengthen your CLA practice and develop your CLA Plan
  • Track Progress: gain a snapshot in time and, when repeated in subsequent years, can help you track changes in CLA integration over time

The resources on this page provide an overview of the CLA Framework and Maturity Tool (shown below) as well as example cards from the tool. Watch the short video at the bottom of the page to see the tool in use. Both the framework and the tool have been developed through an iterative, user-driven process and piloted in eight USAID missions and among numerous focus groups for implementing partners. This version, version 7, will continue to be reviewed and updated periodically based on feedback and user experiences.

Though the CLA Maturity Tool card deck is intended for use primarily by USAID missions, the same content is available in the CLA Maturity Spectrum handouts available for download on this page in English, French, Arabic, and Spanish. These handouts combine the five maturity stage descriptions for each subcomponent on one page. For USAID staff interested in receiving a physical copy of the CLA Maturity Tool card deck, please contact [email protected].

Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) Maturity Tool

Example of the Continuous Learning and Improvement subcomponent cards from the maturity tool

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