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Community Contribution

Using a CLA Approach for Global Peer-to-Peer Learning during COVID-19

Camille Tacastacas, Maja Persson

IDEAL (Implementer-Led Design, Evidence, Analysis and Learning) is a 5-year activity funded by USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), that works to improve the quality and impact of humanitarian and resilience programming across the food security community by addressing priority knowledge and capacity gaps. When COVID-19 hit, IDEAL had to cancel the in-person Knowledge Sharing Meeting, a peer-to-peer learning event, and find new ways to support implementers as they adapted to the pandemic. IDEAL’s challenge was to quickly understand the challenges implementers were facing due to COVID-19 and design virtual opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and collaboration. Applying a CLA approach helped IDEAL to successfully launch and implement the COVID-19 Learning Series, only weeks after the pandemic hit. Applying the concepts of M&E for Learning, Adaptive Management, and Knowledge Management allowed IDEAL to align with the Implementers’ evolving needs and varied contexts. The key concepts of Internal and External Collaboration helped IDEAL establish effective approaches to online peer-to peer learning and facilitated stakeholders’ ability to work together to deliver on shared goals. The Learning Series’ first 26 events engaged 1,466 unique participants from 385 organizations. A majority (61%) participated from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In post-event surveys, 64.7% of respondents indicated that they had applied event learnings and 76.0% of respondents indicated that the quality of their work had improved because of attending the event. With IDEAL’s improved and agile internal processes, strengthened relationships with stakeholders, and growing expertise in online collaboration, the activity is positioned to serve implementing partners better and, in turn, contribute to positive development outcomes.

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