Learning is an intentional, systematic, and resourced approach to generating, capturing, sharing, analyzing, and applying information and knowledge. This knowledge and information can be generated during activity implementation via participating in learning activities, engaging stakeholders; and making use of the experiential knowledge of staff, partners, and counterparts. 

USAID integrates data collected through program monitoring and evaluations into the design for new programming and improve the implementation over the life of an activity. This integration is more broadly described as a process of collaboration, learning, and adaptation (CLA). In its CLA Toolkit, USAID explains these further:

  • Collaborating intentionally happens when USAID and stakeholders identify areas of shared interest and work together where it makes sense, reduce duplication of efforts, and share knowledge across sectoral and institutional boundaries. Collaboration helps break down sectoral and institutional stovepipes; validates USAID programs against experience and local/contextual knowledge; and enhances the ability of partner country governments, organizations, commercial actors, and individuals to define and pursue their development agendas while informing USAID’s work.
  • Learning systematically takes place when USAID and stakeholders utilize a variety of sources of information (including data from monitoring, portfolio reviews, findings of research, evaluations, analyses conducted by USAID or third parties, and knowledge gained from experience) and take time to pause and reflect on implementation. This helps us draw on evidence and experience from many sources and employ participatory development methodologies that catalyze learning for ourselves and our stakeholders.
  • Adapting effectively happens when USAID and partners apply learning and make adjustments during implementation to increase the impact of development assistance.

The following pages provide specific guidance on building a trade focused learning agenda, assessing CLA Maturity and recent successful innovations in trade projects around the world.

Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub 

  • The Hub held a regional “expo” event sponsored by the private sector to model the types of services the Hub provides around business interactions. It also sensitized businesses to a variety of trade related topics. (Quarterly Progress Report, April-June 2018 pg. 58-59)

Learning Agenda

Assessing your Team's CLA Maturity

Learning Successes in Trade

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For more information, please contact Paul Fekete.

Project Starter Trade learning