Executive Summary

USAID/Philippines awarded Panagora Group the Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting activity in July 2020. The contract purpose was to bolster the capacity of USAID/Philippines to effectively lead and practice collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA), by working closely with USAID/Philippines to integrate CLA principles into the Mission’s work — helping staff to strategically collaborate with key internal and external stakeholders, adopt a culture of continuous learning, and practice effective, agile adaptive management to achieve greater development impact. A strong learning agenda and a strengthened evidence base to inform key strategic decisions would drive the greater impact.

Yet, the Philippines and much of the world was under lockdown due to COVID-19. The Mission and Panagora Group were learning how to work remotely with staff spread across the Philippines and the United States, occasionally unreliable home internet connections, time zone differences, and the uncertainty of when the world would go back to normal. Starting a project, building a team, and helping a Mission build a strong CLA culture to improve its development outcomes is a challenge under any circumstances. Panagora Group needed to do this in the complex context of the pandemic.

Despite the challenges that the pandemic created, CLAimDev built a team from a collection of individuals spread across the Philippines and the Pacific and slowly, but steadily, built strong relationships with the leadership and staff in the Program Resources Management Office (PRM), technical offices, and other support offices in the Mission. CLAimDev engaged with the Mission remotely for the first eighteen months of its base period. Most of CLAimDev’s work during the remote period focused on supporting PRM with performance management, monitoring, and evaluation tasks, to help build the Mission’s evidence base. Completed evaluations and research include:

  • STRIDE Final Performance Evaluation
  • SURGE Final Performance Evaluation
  • E-Peso Ex-Post Performance Evaluation
  • Marawi Response Project Final Performance Evaluation
  • ABC+ Midterm Performance Evaluation
  • Safe Water Midterm Performance Evaluation
  • Citizen’s Perception Survey on Civic Engagement and Local Governance
  • Sector Analyses
  • Disaster Risk Reduction Implementation Analysis
  • Meta-evaluation

During this time, CLAimDev’s evaluation work achieved significant cost savings from conducting remote evaluations. These cost savings gave CLAimDev the ability to begin experimenting with new ways of disseminating evidence to increase learning and use. The result of these experiments was a more dynamic approach to evaluation and research learning events and creating multiple pathways for audiences to engage with evidence, such as interactive, multimedia web reports, videos, and infographics. This final report and its web version are examples of the multiple pathways to engage with evidence.

As the Philippines lifted its pandemic restrictions and the Mission returned to hybrid and in-person work, the CLAimDev’s CLA work moved into high gear as the Mission began its preparations for the CDCS Mid-Course Stocktaking (MCST).

CLAimDev’s support to the Mission for the MCST included:

  • collating, verifying, collecting, analyzing, and displaying performance management and monitoring data

  • summarizing and reporting on the Mission’s work on cross-cutting issues

  • organizing logistics, creating presentations, and facilitating Development Objective (DO) Team meetings to analyze the data and issues

  • organizing logistics, creating presentations, and co-facilitating the MCST plenary events

  • analyzing changes in context and sectoral policies, organizing logistics

  • creating presentations, and facilitating stakeholder consultations

  • facilitating adaptive management workshops

In what follows, this report describes in greater detail how CLAimDev helped create a stronger CLA culture in USAID/Philippines. The report, presented in a non-traditional format, includes hyperlinks to full written reports, video interviews with CLAimDev team members and Mission staff, and infographics. The first section describes CLAimDev’s work on CLA. The second section describes how CLAimDev generated evidence for the Mission. The third section describes how CLAimDev supported the Mission’s performance management and monitoring work. A short summary of the achievements under the Health Task Order is also included.

Panagora Group and the CLAimDev team would like to acknowledge the extraordinary support they received from the Office of Program Resources Management (PRM), from its Director, Allyson Gardner, to all its members. CLAimDev’s COR, Albert Aquino, and Alternate COR, Josephina Cervantes, were always available to provide technical guidance and gave CLAimDev the encouragement and approvals needed to experiment with new ways of disseminating, learning, and using evidence for adaptive management and decision-making. Their belief in what CLA brings to international development was critical to CLAimDev’s success.