One of the significant shifts we’ve witnessed in international development over the past decade is an evolution away from linear ‘big design up-front’ five-year plans toward more complexity-aware and adaptive management approaches that acknowledge that our work is complex and unpredictable and requires agile thinking. The positive shifts we are seeing toward adaptive management behaviors at USAID, for example, are because of hundreds of advocates across its offices worldwide who are adopting these new approaches as part of their work because they see that they will help them do their jobs better. We call them “CLA champions.”
Whole-of-project evaluation is a term that we are starting to hear more and more but is often misunderstood. Is it just a trendy new term for a performance evaluation? Or is it something different that we haven’t quite figured out yet?
Third-party monitoring is important in conflict environments, where it can be particularly difficult to know if programs are effective and resources are reaching their intended recipients. It is also especially challenging. Through our recent work in Syria we’ve found several ways to make third-party monitoring in conflict environments more effective.
Misconceptions about collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) can seriously impact development outcomes. The Learning Lab website debunks three of the top myths the LEARN team often hears about CLA.
Small- and medium-sized aggregators and raw material processors face many challenges in establishing a market for their products. All too often, in a developing economy, these aggregators do not have the information nor the technical skills and financing to produce a product to meet the needs of food manufacturers, particularly for export markets. As food markets become more sophisticated with regulation and food safety issues, the problems of small and medium enterprises supplying distant countries have multiplied and become more complex.
With expertise in relationship management and private sector engagement, Dexis Consulting Group helped USAID and Devex launch and manage a four-year public-private partnership. Importantly, we also helped to successfully end it.
We at LEARN make a point to “Walk the Talk” by doing CLA in our own work. Of all of ways that LEARN does CLA, pause and reflect activities were the most intriguing to me during my orientation period. I wondered, “How could we justify spending so much time looking back at the past? How honest would my new coworkers really be?”
Data plays a critical role in understanding our development impact, adapting our strategies, and communicating our results. But with limited time, resources, and technology, the process of identifying and collecting the right data—and making sure that data that is accurate, relevant, and useful—can be extremely challenging.
Dexis’ CEO and our company’s longtime internship program are featured in the summer 2016 edition of Macalester Today, the alumni magazine of Macalester College.
Many companies today incorporate environmental and social goals into corporate strategy. This is the idea behind “shared value” – a concept first introduced by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer that describes generating economic value in a way that also produces value for society, thereby connecting a company’s success with social progress. By looking for alignment between business and development goals, nonprofits and government agencies can better leverage private sector partners to further environmental and social aims.