Leadership for Change in Latin America: Building Organizational Capacity through CLA
The USAID-funded Leadership for Change in Education Program (the “Program”) is led by Teach For All (TFAll) with three partners in Colombia, Ecuador, and Paraguay from September 2020-August 2023. The Program improves quality of education for vulnerable students in Latin America by (1) recruiting & selecting fellows (teachers), (2) training & supporting fellows, (3) engaging community & alumni, and (4) strengthening local partner capacity.
TFAll is a global network of 61 independent, locally-led partner organizations and a global organization that shares learning from across the network and supports partner development. Enseña por Paraguay (ExP) is part of the TFAll network and the youngest of the Program’s three partners, having launched in 2018. This case describes how the Program has used CLA to overcome the challenge of intentionally building partner organizational capacity in operations and monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL), highlighting the unique journey of ExP.
The Program’s CLA approach for strengthening partner organizational capacity in operations and MEL has involved four nonlinear, iterative phases:(1) diagnosing and training, (2) action planning and implementing, (3) learning and adapting, and (4) sustainability and scaling. The approach integrates multiple CLA subcomponents throughout, including pause & reflect (P&R), M&E for learning, and adaptive management, among others.
As a result of this CLA approach, all partners in the Program, including ExP, have strengthened capacity in operations and MEL. To date, ExP has developed over 10 updated organizational policies and MEL protocols, and begun to institutionalize CLA practices, like P&R and M&E for learning, to inform technical activities. Furthermore, ExP has grown from basic to moderate capacity on the Program’s capacity development indicator. Through enabling qualities, like openness and continuous learning and improvement, TFAll, ExP, and partners have ensured intentional uptake and lasting impact of CLA.