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Community Contribution

Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting to Improve Organizational Effectiveness

Kristin Lindell

What does it take to increase income, improve food security and nutrition, raise literacy rates, or decrease malaria? To achieve these goals, we design programs that logically lay out the ‘how’ and then we implement, monitor, assess, learn, and course correct. Staff, the engine of our organizations and programs, strongly influence whether or not we achieve our development goals. So how can we ensure that staff consistently show up to work motivated and engaged, ready to produce at the highest level, and support the achievement of development outcomes? Recent evidence reveals that collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) is part of the ‘how.’

Efforts to examine the evidence about CLA’s contribution to organizational effectiveness and development results suggest that USAID’s investments in CLA are well placed. This briefer synthesizes the evidence on CLA’s contribution to organizational effectiveness, offers examples of what this looks like in practice, and highlights additional resources so we can start making changes in ourselves and our organizations now.

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