As Communications Associate for the USAID LEARN contract, one of my responsibilities is to manage the CLA Case Competition. The 2016 competition launched exactly two months after my start date, which meant I had a lot to catch up on and prepare in a relatively short amount of time. Due to our team’s fantastic knowledge management practices, I was able to easily look back through our files to wrap my head around how the competition was organized last year. Even more helpful, though, was reviewing the 2015 Case Competition after action review, documentation of discussions that happened shortly after last year’s competition capturing what went well, what was learned, and what should be different next year.
After action reviews are just one example of the pause and reflect exercises that the LEARN team does regularly. Because our mission is to support improved effectiveness of USAID programs by building capacity within the Agency to integrate the principles of CLA throughout USAID’s program cycle, we 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?”
Learn more about Amy’s discoveries through the LEARN project and the evidence supporting pause and reflect practices in her full blog post on Learning Lab.
Amy Leo is a Communications Associate on the USAID LEARN project, implemented by Dexis.
The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.