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Community Contribution

Learning to Learn in Liberia: A CLA Approach to Effective Advocacy

Lauren Reese

The USAID Liberia Accountability and Voice Initiative (LAVI) is five-year project implemented by DAI with the goal of strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships to advocate for and monitor policy and accountability reforms. Collaborative advocacy necessitates continual learning and adaptation based on contextual changes and regular knowledge sharing. For this reason, LAVI adopted a collaborating, learning and adapting (CLA) approach to assist Liberian civil society organizations in engaging in collective advocacy campaigns. However, to achieve this, LAVI needed to first understand the barriers in Liberia to collective problem-solving, knowledge sharing, and acknowledging failures in the process of identifying lessons learned. Guided by the Monitoring, Evaluation, & Learning team, LAVI staff practiced internal collaboration and "pause and reflect" activities, piloted CLA training and mentorship approaches with civil society organization, and used lessons learned and local partners built out a knowledge management and learning resource hub. Through this process, LAVI and its Strategic Learning Partner, ALab, devised strategies to build the capacity of Liberian civil society groups in CLA approaches. As a result of these activities, LAVI aims to promote more accountable governance by equipping advocacy actors with the skills necessary to effectively collaborate, thoughtfully adapt programming, and identify and integrate best practices into their policy reform campaigns with the goal of maximize their success.

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