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Community Contribution

LAC Private Sector Engagement Learning Gathering Raises the Bar for Online Meetings

Maria Bianculli

This is the story of how the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Bureau’s Regional Private Sector Engagement (PSE) Learning gathering convened USAID staff from nine countries into the same “room” to meet and learn from each other despite the global pandemic. The event was born out of the need to solve the isolation of PSE knowledge within Missions, with no meaningful space to share experience and new ideas with colleagues across the region.

The LAC Bureau collaborated with Mission representatives and an implementing partner to create a first-of-its-kind gathering that facilitated new connections between regional USAID staff and provided opportunities to learn new or different PSE approaches from each other, entirely online. By using the collaborating, learning and adapting (CLA) approach to design the event format and structure, the meeting was adapted to make the most of the online tools available and to allow for collaborative learning between PSE practitioners who otherwise might not have been able to share their knowledge outside of their respective Missions.

Early results show that the meeting was incredibly successful in facilitating new connections across the region, therefore expanding internal collaboration, and helping USAID staff to adapt their thinking about how to implement PSE in their own Missions. Meeting participants have already begun working with their new regional connections to share lessons learned from their own unique PSE journeys to better inform their colleagues’ work at other Missions.

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