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Community Contribution

USAID/South Africa MEKMOL Review 2021

Nico Fourie, Terrie Takavarasha

During the year 2000, USAID/Southern Africa embarked on a process to develop a consolidated Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS) that would combine the previous Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) for South Africa and the RDCS for Southern Africa. The successful implementation of a new Performance Management Plan (PMP) for this RDCS, required Mission staff to intentionally integrate a range of Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) and Knowledge Management (KM) approaches into their work, identify and collaborate with external stakeholders and inter-agencies, collaborate and share knowledge across technical teams, and manage adaptively in response to new learning.

The Program Office decided to conduct a Monitoring, Evaluation, Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning (MEKMOL) Review in 2021. Recognizing the interconnectedness of CLA and KM, it was decided to conduct a two-part review consisting of a CLA Self-Assessment and a Knowledge Audit through a combination of surveys, interviews, workshops, an analysis of documents and filing structures, and a review of the core Information Technology (IT) systems and the Mission’s Intranet. The exercise included using the CLA Maturity Toolkit to provide a clear picture of what systematic, intentional, and resourced integration of CLA can look like. 

The purpose of this MEKMOL Review was to assess the state of CLA and KM practices at the Mission, in order to develop recommendations to facilitate the operationalization of the new PMP for the RDCS. The review resulted in an action plan for the implementation of specific CLA and KM deliverables as part of the process of institutionalizing systematic, intentional, and resourced CLA and KM practices in the Mission.  
The USAID/Southern Africa RDCS Mid-course stocktaking workshop held in May 2023 reaffirmed the relevance of this MEKMOL Review and its value in contributing to the improvement of operational effectiveness at the Mission.

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