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Community Contribution

How CLA became a catalyst for integration, impact and resilience

William Baron

Multi-sector development programs regularly default to working largely in sector-siloes, with cross-sector collaboration only happening sporadically and opportunistically. A siloed approach undermines program effectiveness and impact, in particular in shock-prone environments where program participants require integrated support systems to achieve resilience. This was exactly the situation that the 'Resilience in Pastoral Areas - North' (RIPA-North) Activity in Ethiopia found itself in, through an internal pause and reflection process after 18-months of implementation. 

This CLA case describes how RIPA-North introduced simple but rigorous steps to systematically adapt our interventions through integration between components. The starting point was a learning and adaptation workshop, in which team members brainstormed and prioritized possible integration points. The far harder part was to operationalize these ideas through internal collaboration on the ground. This was achieved through putting in place: i) Incentive structures to motivate and reward integration achievements and ii) A suite of practical work processes and management practices that enabled team members to collaborate effectively. RIPA-North's CLA process has been successful beyond expectations. Within one year, RIPA-North had successfully integrated 13 of 17 prioritized interventions and the process has transformed the culture of the RIPA-North team. Most importantly, we've found that each intervention adaptation through cross-component integration has contributed to increased scale, depth of impact and enhanced sustainability of the adapted intervention. A key insight that has emerged, is that each of these 'internal collaborations' has ended up fostering 'external collaboration' between government and private sector system actors, contributing to the transformation and dynamism of market systems serving vulnerable communities in Ethiopia.

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