Key Actions by:

Standard 18: Learning from and leveraging results during close-out.

Engage participants, partners, donors, host or local governments and other stakeholders in project close-out evaluation and reflection activities with the intent of learning from and leveraging the project.

Share project learning with stakeholders for influence, sustainability, and scale-up of successful project approaches.

  • Why

    Projects generate a wealth of information and learning of value and interest to CRS, its partners, participating communities, donors and other stakeholders. Too often, however, project teams get caught up in the rush of close-out activities and give little attention to strategically sharing information about project impact, lessons learned, and recommendations for future projects. Well-planned sharing of project learning, including with community members and current and potential project donors, as part of project close-out:

    • Builds stakeholder commitment to sustain, scale-up, or adopt proven and promising project approaches.
    • Helps meet stakeholder information needs by communicating the results and learning most relevant to each stakeholder.
    • Demonstrates accountability and deepens the relationships built during the project.
    • Contributes to the wider body of knowledge in the sector.
  • Who

    • Primary responsible: Project manager or chief of party (PM/CoP)
      • The PM/CoP leads the development and implementation of project plans for sharing learning during close-out.

    • Others involved: CRS and partner project team members; country program MEAL staff; head of programming (HoP); country representative (CR); sectoral technical advisors (TAs); country program and regional business development (BD) staff; IDEA staff if applicable.
      • The project team and country program MEAL staff, with support from the HoP as needed, contribute to planning and assist with implementing individual activities to share project learning.
      • The CR assists with engaging donors and other high-level stakeholders.For example, senior-level government officials, senior leaders of peer organizations.
      • TAs (especially regional and global) help promote and share learning with other technical specialists, including specialists from donor and peer organizations.
      • Country program (if applicable) and regional BD staff and IDEA staff contribute to plans for disseminating learning and share learning with current and prospective donors.

  • Partnership
    • Whether partners have strong experience and capacity in project knowledge management and learning and donor engagement, or are new to this aspect of leveraging project experiences, be sure to include partner staff in planning and implementing final project learning and donor engagement activities.
    • In cases where the project includes a long-term, strategic partner, CRS and the partner may be working to strengthen donor engagement, communications, and marketing skills as part of a wider partner capacity strengthening plan. In such cases, accompany the partner organization in thinking through how to use the project close-out process to highlight their own capacities and contributions to project achievements, and to increase their experience and comfort in donor engagement and communications.
  • When CRS is a sub-recipient
    • The prime will take the lead in planning for project-level end-of-project learning and sharing. Work with the prime to develop and implement these plans, highlighting CRS’ and partners’ roles in project successes.
    • For projects where CRS previously identified other donors with a potential interest in the project components within CRS’ scope as a sub-recipient, refine and implement the activities in the project donor engagement plan to share learning and successes from the CRS-managed portions of the project. 
  • Emergency projects