Managing Staff Transitions Through CLA: Preserving Institutional Memory as Staff Come and Go

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Author(s):
USAID Bureau for Policy Planning and Learning
Institution(s):
Date Published:
February 22, 2019
Contribution:
USAID Contribution
Toolkit(s):

Most USAID Missions and USAID/Washington operating units (OUs) have a set of guidance, policies, and templates to manage the administrative, logistical, and security aspects of onboarding and offboarding staff. Less often, however, is there a system in place to manage the transfer of institutional knowledge, contextual understanding, and critical relationships that have been acquired by the departing staff member to the arriving staff member. Often times there is a gap between when a staff member departs and the replacement arrives so, without a system in place to preserve it, this critical knowledge is lost.

For an operating unit, Mission, office, or team, a multi-faceted system for managing staff transitions is critical to ensuring that institutional memory is preserved, contextual understanding is sustained, and key relationships with internal and external partners are maintained and that this is done as efficiently and effectively as possible. This tool provides key principles, actions and resources that Missions, OUs, offices, and teams can follow to systemically manage staff transitions and to ensure that institutional memory is preserved and there remains a continuity of relationships as staff come and go.


This tool, which is relevant to transitions of any position or hiring mechanism, is for:

  1. Staff in a Mission/OU working to build or implement systems that improve handovers, knowledge capture, and sharing across a Mission/OU.
  2. Staff who are departing a position at a Mission/OU that may or may not yet have a comprehensive system for managing staff transitions.
  3. Staff who are arriving into a position at a Mission/OU that may or may not yet have a comprehensive system for managing staff transitions.
Filed Under: Technical Resources

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