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Community Contribution

Making the Most of Our Potential: Using CLA to Intentionally Increase Cross-Sectoral Learning

M. Meekins, E. Fitch, R. Flueckiger, R. Stelmach

RTI International works across the world in the field of international development, implementing programs in a number of different sectors such as Agriculture, Energy, Health, Governance and Education. Within the past few years RTI has focused internally on intentionally growing our efforts to share and learn from each other across the organization, using a CLA approach to guide us.

One of the ways we have tried to institutionalize CLA throughout RTI has been our Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning and Adapting Community of Practice (MERLA CoP). This internally funded group has had a lot of fun collaborating across RTI to discuss MERLA related issues and problem solve together. The CoP is made up of both home office and field office staff, and is an open space for questions, resource sharing and MERLA work. We have grown over the past two years to be 60+ members.

One event that the MERLA CoP hosted that was particularly exciting was our Philippines Learning Summit. This event brought together staff from our four USAID funded programs in the country as well as other implementers, local partners and USAID to share learnings, both successes and challenges, about implementing CLA within their work. We also held an internal retreat, which focused on actionable ways to collaborate more intentionally across the four programs.

We believe that these efforts are leading to new connections with staff across sectors and regions, producing higher quality implementation, and eventually, improved outcomes for our programs.

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