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USAID Contribution

USAID Program Cycle Learning Agenda

Lane Pollack

To ensure that USAID is learning from the implementation of the Program Cycle and filling in knowledge gaps around what can be improved in the current iteration of the Program Cycle Operational Policy, the Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning (PPL) developed a learning agenda. The agenda has five learning questions around key assumptions or critical processes within the Program Cycle.

The learning agenda also details how PPL will answer these questions, and how it plans to use this process to inform periodic reflection and support adaptive management to improve PPL's support to missions and operating units.

Developed iteratively with consultation from USAID staff in Washington and Missions overseas as well as external partners the Program Cycle Learning Agenda contains five key questions:

  • The Four Principles: To what extent and how are the four principles represented in Program Cycle products and evident in Program Cycle processes in USAID missions? Why or why not?
  • Knowledge and Buy-In: To what extent and how do USAID leadership, staff members, and partners understand and buy into the vision and spirit behind the Program Cycle? Why or why not?
  • Alignment of Program Cycle Components: To what extent and how are strategies, projects, activities, and associated Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) plans aligned in practice? Why or why not?
  • Project Implementation: To what extent and how are mission staff managing "projects" in practice? Are mission staff designing, managing, monitoring, evaluating, learning, adapting at a project level? Why or why not?
  • PPL Support and Capacity Building: To what extent and how do Missions perceive/value PPL capacity building modalities and content? Do they know about them, are they using them, are they valuing them, and are they meeting their needs? Why or why not?

If you have any information, data or experiences you would like to share regarding the Program Cycle and the learning questions above, please reach out to Lane Pollack ([email protected]) or email [email protected].

To find out more about learning agendas, please visit the following:

» Learning Agenda (CLA Toolkit)

» Learning Agendas: The Five Most Important Things You Need to Know

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