Sharing Knowledge: Learning Briefs From the Feed the Future Knowledge-Driven Agricultural Development Project (KDAD)
Internal learning and reflection was an integral part of the KDAD project over its more than five years managing Agrilinks and contributing to USAID training, knowledge management, learning and communications, among other initiatives.
As part of its final report, the KDAD team developed a series of learning briefs to capture and share insights gleaned from its activities. A brief description of each follows, along with a link to the PDF. Thanks to the Agrilinks community for being a part of KDAD’s adventures in learning!
Under the KDAD project, webinars were a critical means of engaging the food security community in learning, sharing best practices from research and field programs, and furthering USAID/BFS vision and guidance. Webinars also created an open space for development practitioners to network and share experiences. This case study offers KDAD’s winning recipe for Agrilinks webinars and insights gained by conducting nearly 50 of them over the course of the project.
Over the life of the project, the KDAD Communications team had opportunities to engage in a range of activities that crossed USAID offices and bureaus. In the process, the team gathered insights on the varying roles that communications can play and how those roles and interactions shape results. This brief shares that knowledge and includes five ways teams can more effectively engage with communicators.
Data has limited value without an effective means of interpreting, presenting and using it. With this in mind, KDAD’s Assessing and Learning (A&L) team explored different approaches to analyzing and visualizing data, particularly for data housed in the Feed the Future Monitoring System (FTFMS), one of the main databases the team used to conduct data analysis. This case study delves into network maps, one approach to visualize connections among different organizations and entities involved in the Feed the Future initiative.
One of KDAD’s core principles was evidence-based program management. KDAD’s Performance Management, Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (PMMEP) served as the primary framework for providing timely and insightful progress data and measuring results. However, during the first year, KDAD faced a common M&E challenge — the indicators selected did not fully reflect program activities and achievements. This learning brief examines how KDAD adapted the Results Framework to reflect the content and engagement strategies needed to support project learning. (See also Journey from Internal M&E to Supporting Analysis for the Bureau for Food Security for another look at how KDAD’s A&L team evolved its support over the course of the project.)
KDAD collaborated with USAID to plan, design and facilitate various week-long events known as Global Learning and Evidence Exchanges (GLEEs). Designed to emphasize peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and promote evidence exchange, GLEEs homed in on priority topics including Scaling, Climate-Smart Agriculture and Market Systems. More than 450 USAID technical staff, outside experts, implementing partners and host country government representatives attended, creating an opportunity for two-way communication and learning between missions and USAID in Washington. This brief shares lessons and reflections from KDAD’s GLEE planning, design and implementation experience.
For a big picture look at KDAD’s work and impact, please visit the final report microsite.