Key Actions by:

Standard 11: Evidence based, action-oriented project management.

Make collaborative, timely, and informed decisions to ensure that project activities deliver intended impact to participants within the approved time, scope, and budget.

Promote and facilitate intentional project reflection, learning, and adaptation.

  • Why

    Effective project management requires an intentional approach to learning and a collaborative environment where diverse perspectives and ideas are solicited and valued. Effective project management is also guided by the understanding that each project’s unique and dynamic operating context affects and is affected by the project, and that sharing project learning with other stakeholders is important for project relevance, influence, and impact. Project teams must continually gather and reflect on project knowledge, identify and explore knowledge gaps and questions, and use this learning in project decision-making, including appropriate and timely adaptations to project activities and strategies.

    Intentional promotion and thoughtful facilitation of project opportunities for reflection and learning:

    • Support informed, transparent and inclusive decision-making.
    • Enable project teams to modify their actions and interventions in light of emerging practices and new insights.
    • Contribute to improved program quality for the focus project and other projects as well.
    • Facilitate CRS’ and partners’ ability to positively influence other stakeholders and interventions.
  • When
    • Ongoing throughout project implementation.
    • Aim to hold at least one project learning event per year.
  • Partnership
    • Partners should be full participants in project learning and sharing activities. Engage them as “reflective practitioners” or “knowledge workers”, rather than mere aid deliverers. Their field-based experiences, conversations and observations are often very informative, insightful, topical, and based in on-the-ground realities. This is invaluable when it comes to scanning for unintended consequences, both good and bad, arising from project interventions (see also Standard 11, key action 4).
    • Support partners to promote an enabling environment for reflection, learning and adaptation, including planning and implementing learning and sharing activities and events at partner-level.
    • During project team analysis of the target audiences and messages for project learning (see step 6 above), CRS and partners may in some cases determine that partners are best placed to share learning with certain stakeholders. In those cases, work with partners to plan and prepare for activities in which partners may play the lead role, as well as planning partners’ roles in activities during which CRS may take the lead.
    • In projects where CRS has a research or technical partner leading a component of the project, the partner may lead documentation of project learning for that component. In most projects, however, CRS takes the lead in documenting project learning.
  • When CRS is a sub-recipient
    • The prime will determine the frequency and focus of project-wide review and learning meetings.
    • Follow the process described above for learning around the project components managed by CRS, but remember that the prime will guide the project’s engagement with the project donor around project learning.
  • Emergency projects