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Community Contribution

Greater Evidence and Participation: Using CLA to Learn from Stabilization in Yemen

Opi David and Ashleigh Mullinax

Yemen Communities Stronger Together (YCST) is a USAID-funded project in its third year of implementation. To date, the project has documented success in supporting local-level initiatives that mitigate conflict, strengthen social cohesion, and promote the peaceful resolution of differences in the five governorates of Aden, Abyan, Lahj, Taiz, and Hadramout in south Yemen. A strategic component of the project is to test and evaluate stabilization pilot projects that can be scaled up as conditions for peace and transition in Yemen continue to evolve. YCST operates in a fluid and challenging context and needs to adapt quickly when the operating environment unexpectedly changes. Given this context, YCST adopted CLA principles into its programming during project design to prepare for these inevitable changes. On a practical level, this has meant that YCST has had to prioritize its internal and external collaboration and collect large amounts of data that is systematically analyzed to provide technical evidence and support learning on stabilization projects for informed decision making. YCST has been working closely with USAID on capturing and sharing lessons learned around stabilization programming to inform its own work as well as the work of USAID, the USG and other implementing partners. Through the production of annual Stabilization Lessons Learned Reports, YCST has been able to prioritize learning around stabilization using the CLA approach. By gathering and analyzing data on stabilization activities, regularly pausing and reflecting, documenting successes and challenges, and engaging in productive collaboration with USAID and project partners, YCST has been able to generate important evidence on what works (and what doesn’t work) for stabilization in Yemen.

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