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Community Contribution

Pivoting in Response to Contextual Changes: Adaptive Management in Mozambique

Lindsay North

The Mozambique Community Resilience Program (MCRP) began in late 2019, and was intended to understand the dynamics and causes of the violence that had begun in 2017. Violent attacks were initially sporadic, but escalated in frequency and deadliness until the insurgents were in effective control of northern parts of Cabo Delgado province. MCRP had to pivot from its original focus to being the sole development program working amidst an active insurgency, where populations and operating principles were changing from one day to another. Although CLA is foundational to OTI programming, competing demands of the program often meant that staff weren’t in the same place often enough to connect and share different information and perspectives. The pieces weren’t being put together to identify achievements, challenges, and lessons learned—which was making it a challenge to develop new and relevant grant concepts in a rapidly changing context. A lack of familiarity and comfort with a “learning culture” often meant that staff felt challenges or mistakes had to be hidden, rather than discussed openly and learned from. As a result, the management team instituted additional formal and informal CLA practices and principles, including collaboration, openness, and additional pause-and-reflect sessions to help capture findings and to build a learning culture within the team. Once these practices were instituted, team members were able to clearly identify what worked and what didn’t. In turn, this enabled them to identify targeted approaches that delivered both immediate and longer term results to help strengthen locally driven resilience to violent extremism in northern Mozambique.

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