According to USAID’s Program Cycle guidance (ADS 201.6.5), “Strategic collaboration, continuous learning, and adaptive management link together all components of the Program Cycle.” Integrating CLA into our work helps to ensure that our programs are coordinated with others, grounded in a strong evidence base, and iteratively adapted to remain relevant throughout implementation. The systematic application of CLA approaches, led by people who have the knowledge and resources to carry them out, enables USAID to be an effective learning organization and thereby a more effective development organization.
In the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Section of a CDCS the Mission must include a brief discussion of the Mission’s overall priorities and approaches to monitoring, evaluation and learn.
In its CLA Toolkit, USAID explains CLA by breaking down this acronym into its component parts:
The CLA section in a Mission’s CDCS provides an opportunity for the Mission to explain CLA in its own context, by describing its current practices and CLA priorities for the strategy period.
The CLA Section in a CDCS need not be long. It is meant to be a preview of the Mission’s PMP Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Plan that will set forth processes and activities the Mission will use to help ensure that programming is coordinated, grounded in evidence, and adjusted as necessary to remain effective throughout the CDCS implementation period. The direction set for CLA in the CDCS is also intended to influence project design and the way in which Mission staff integrate Mission-wide CLA approaches and priorities at the project level in the learning component of their Project MEL Plans.