What types of mechanisms enable CLA?

Eurasia Foundation
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What types of mechanisms enable CLA?

This question came from Moving the Needle, a CLA conference organized by the USAID LEARN team in November 2015. Participants had the opportunity to provide written reflections and questions throughout the day. LEARN and USAID's Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning Office of Learning, Evaluation and Research CLA team organized and clustered the questions, then developed responses to them. Look for more questions from the series to come!

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Monalisa Salib | Dexis Consulting Group
Mar 23, 2016

There are multiple ways in which contracts and cooperative agreements can enable CLA and adaptive, more flexible management, although USAID staff members often do not know the options available when making project and activity design decisions.

 

For example, USAID can (1) select mechanism types that make responding to change and adapting easier during implementation. One of the latest mechanism types is the Broad Agency Announcement, which enables a mission or bureau to co-create, co-design, co-invest, and collaborate with awardees in the development, testing, and scaling of practical and cost-effective innovations that can help USAID reach a development goal. For additional mechanism type options—including Single Award IDIQs and others—USAID staff can see the Procurement Executive Bulletin on ProgramNet.

 

USAID staff can also (2) write mechanism scopes in ways that enable CLA. One example of this is an agreement scope that is known as a ‘scope of objectives’ rather than a ‘scope of work.’ This allows USAID to determine the anticipated results while allowing for flexibility in how those results are achieved.  Another option is to design a solicitation and subsequent agreement in which learning itself is a phase/deliverable, based on which implementation decisions are made. The Community Connector mechanism created by USAID/Uganda is an example of this.

 

Lastly, USAID staff can (3) manage mechanisms in ways that enable greater CLA integration. USAID/Malawi’s collaboration requirements, such as joint work planning for partners working in the same geographic target areas, is one such example.

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