Lessons to share: CLP has many

Posted on: 13 January, 2016 Posted in:

For over 12 years CLP has worked with the extreme-poor in hard-to-reach areas in north-west Bangladesh. The Programme implemented many different projects focusing on strengthening economic and environmental resilience to improving the nutrition, health and hygiene practices of selected families. The Programme clearly has a lot to share with the development community.

We like to think that a culture of learning has developed in CLP. Whilst this can be challenging, we’ve been happy to reflect on what was not working and then modify the approach.  An example of this internal learning came halfway through the Programme when we learned we were missing a trick by not specifically targeting our core participants to receive improved water points. How could we possibly strengthen their food security and nutrition (both of which were related to graduation criteria for households) if families were still accessing unimproved water?  Water-borne illness can quickly undermine people’s nutrition status as well their food security through lost income. The lesson was learned and the policy rapidly modified to specifically target these households with improved water points.

During the last year we introduced a few more formal approaches to lesson learning.  We conducted a facilitated self-evaluation of the Programme late last year, during which we reflected on what had and had not worked. It yielded useful information for the team designing another poverty alleviation programme for DFID.

The self-evaluation made us realise that we had a lot to share with the wider development community. We’ve therefore spent the last six months developing a set of lessons briefs. The topics range from our experience in establishing graduation criteria, applying value for money principles through to what we learnt from measuring women’s empowerment.

Perhaps a good place to start is the overview brief. The rest of the briefs are on the CLP website and include the following:

So, on the subject of learning, what did we learn from the process of developing the briefs? It’s important to do this….but it does take time and it’s a lot of hard work!!