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Community Contribution

CLA Maturity Tool for Implementing Partners

Monalisa Salib, Jessica Ziegler

The original version of the CLA Maturity Tool for USAID Missions has now been tailored for USAID implementing partners (IPs) to help them both assess current practice and plan for incremental improvements. Both international and local organizations can use this tool.

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. 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 CLA Framework
  • 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, which you can include in your Activity MEL Plan
  • Track Progress: gain a snapshot in time and, when repeated in subsequent years, can help you track changes in CLA integration over time

Based on USAID’s CLA Maturity Tool, which was developed for USAID Missions, this version aligns as closely to the original as possible while removing all USAID-specific references. It also incorporates the most current thinking on CLA and what it takes to effectively integrate it into your work. Updates include:

  • Latest guidance on quality theories of change from the USAID Learns Theory of Change Workbook
  • Consideration of the local context, including and also broader than the original focus on scenario planning only
  • Delineation of explicit and tacit knowledge capture and the importance of onboarding
  • Rethinking of resources need for CLA, focusing especially on people, time and budget for CLA activities, resource flexibility, and MEL & KM systems

The IP version of the CLA Maturity Tool is available in English and Vietnamese. Other helpful facilitation resources for the tool can be found on Learning Lab here.

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