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Community Contribution

Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Training

Stuart Belle

USAID/Uganda’s Learning Contract, launched in 2013, is charged with assisting the mission to refine, scale up, and institutionalize collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) approaches. Feedback from USAID/Uganda and implementing partners hinted at a need to be more concrete in what it means to “apply” CLA. For the Learning Contract, this question prompted a fresh focus on helping development practitioners move from defining CLA to experiencing CLA.

CLA Approach

  • Mission Resources: In collaboration with the mission, we developed a training concept for building CLA capacity through a course that would itself embody the practice of CLA. The milestone that set this initiative in motion was an existing mission program, the monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) orientation for incoming mission staff.
  • M&E for Learning: We analyzed data from CLA perception surveys to make sure our course design would respond to user interests.
  • Technical Evidence Base: We incorporated and adapted examples of successful training approaches from other contexts and industries, according to mission and implementing partner needs in Uganda.

Lessons Learned

  • Using local experts as trainers ensures continued access to technical support and assistance with organizational improvement efforts.
  • Collaborating with mission staff for training design and delivery is necessary for coherence and consistency in messaging.


  • About a third of participating implementing partners have asked for the Learning Contract’s support to replicate our MEL course in training their staff.
  • Recognizing the value of the tools and techniques we presented, several implementing partners have launched specific in-house programs to train their staff in MEL approaches we introduced during the course.