USAID Collaborating, Learning and Adapting in Action Case Competition Library

USAID's annual Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Case Competition captures case studies of USAID staff and implementing partners using a CLA approach for organizational learning and better development outcomes. This searchable database allows users to search through submissions based on a number of parameters. 

This resource and the following information was contributed by Alice Macfarlan.

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Year of publication


Type of resource

  • Website

Key features

The Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Case Competition captures real-life case studies of USAID staff and implementing partners using a CLA approach for organizational learning and better development outcomes. The cases are not necessarily 'success stories'; instead there is a focus on what’s working well, what teams are struggling with, and what teams have learned along the way. Cases can be about something big, or about small practices that made an important difference to a team's work.

The cases are categorised by a number of subcomponents of CLA:

  • Pause & Reflect
  • Adaptive Management
  • Technical Evidence Base
  • Theories of Change
  • Scenario Planning
  • M&E for Learning
  • Internal Collaboration
  • External Collaboration
  • Openness
  • Relationships & Networks
  • Continuous Learning & Improvement
  • Knowledge Management
  • Institutional Memory
  • Decision-Making
  • Mission Resources
  • CLA in Implementing Mechanisms 

Who is this resource useful for?

  • Advocates for evaluation
  • Commissioners and managers of evaluation
  • Evaluation users
  • Evaluators
  • Those involved in evaluation capacity strengthening

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

I intend on having a good look through the cases to see what tools and approaches were used in implementing a CLA approach, particularly around the M&E and learning subcomponent, as well as exploring the enabling factors and barriers that the case writers have identified in applying these.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

Despite a lot of talk about the need to move towards a learning culture and an adaptive way of working, there's a lot of confusion (and anxiety) about what this might look like in practice. I think this case competition by USAID is a really good initiative to capture learnings from applications of CLA, as well helping to move this way of working towards being accepted more widely.


Collaborating, Learning and Adapting Case Studies. (n.d.) USAID Learning Lab.  Retrieved August 2018 from

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BetterEvaluation Knowledge Platform Manager, BetterEvaluation.
Melbourne, Australia.


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