Evaluation 2017: From Learning to Action

View Printable Version

The Fast and the Furiously Adaptive: How Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Drive Adaptive Management

Session Number: 2399
Track: Organizational Learning & Evaluation Capacity Building
Session Type: Panel
Tags: adaptive management, Organizational change, organizational learning
Session Chair: Travis Mayo [Evaluation Specialist - USAID]
Presenter 1: Travis Mayo [Evaluation Specialist - USAID]
Presenter 2: Sophia van der Bijl [Senior Impact Assessment Advisor - USAID Global Development Lab]
Presenter 3: Kristin Lindell [Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Specialist - USAID LEARN/Dexis Consulting Group]
Time: Nov 09, 2017 (10:30 AM - 11:15 AM)
Room: Thurgood Marshall South

Abstract 1 Title: Global Learning for Adaptive Management (GLAM) – How USAID and DFID Are Partnering to Change How We Do Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
Presentation Abstract 1:

USAID and DFID both recognize adaptive management as a promising practice for improving development results.  Both organizations also recognize their limited capacity and experience in conducting explicit, planned monitoring, evaluation and learning practices to support adaptive management.  This presentation will describe how their newly awarded partnership, GLAM, will spend the next five years addressing this challenge and the role it will play in building consensus and helping to set standards for donor coordination.  The use of emerging technologies, building in-country capacity, and how to determine best fit MEL practices will be key areas of focus. 


Abstract 2 Title: USAID Global Development Lab’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Innovations Program (MERLIN)
Presentation Abstract 2:

In 2015, the US Global Development Lab launched MERLIN, a mechanism for sourcing  MERL innovations.    We recognized that our ability to identify development breakthroughs would be determined, in large part, by our ability to quickly gather evidence on how the programs we support are performing, and use this data to iterate on them. Allowing for flexibility and adaptive management of interventions is critical for responding to the challenges of the 21st Century.  This presentation will highlight two innovations sourced under MERLIN that are contributing to adaptive management:

  • The “Rapid Feedback” approach aims to improve rapid learning and adaptive management in USAID projects by compressing feedback loops to promote iteration in implementation
  • “Developmental Evaluation” embeds evaluators in programs to allow for more frequent information about implementation, allowing for changes to regularly be made if necessary

Abstract 3 Title: Adaptive Management from the Inside Out: LEARN's Internal Cycle for Data-Driven Decisions
Presentation Abstract 3:

Having a systematic, intentional, and resourced approach to monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) is essential for effective learning. And learning is essential for adaptive management. The USAID funded LEARN mechanism has designed a management cycle that includes regular feedback loops and reflection points designed to instigate data-driven decision making. In this presentation, LEARN will discuss its internal MEL cycle and other effective principles to help audience members sharpen their learning and adaptive management capabilities.


Theme: Learning About Evaluation Use and Users
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

The panel presentation brings together leading efforts from across the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partners to showcase how monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) are supporting adaptive management.  Adaptive management is a critical capability for programs that strive to become more effective, efficient, relevant and sustainable - but an ongoing challenge is figuring out what MEL practices and principles are a good fit to support adaptive management.  The first presentation will highlight USAID’s partnership with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) to create the Global Learning for Adaptive Management (GLAM), a five year project to improve how donors and implementers use MEL for adaptive management.  The next presentation will share how USAID’s MERLIN program is testing specific MEL approaches for adaptive management.  The final presentation is a case study of how one USAID funded activity, LEARN, uses MEL to support their adaptive management practices.  



For questions or concerns about your event registration, please contact registration@eval.org or 202-367-1173.

For questions about your account, membership status, or help logging in, please contact info@eval.org.



Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 16, 2017. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. Fax request to (202) 367-2173. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 16, 2017 all sales are final. For Evaluation 2017, international attendees and presenters who encounter complications due to the international travel environment will have up to 30 days after the event to request a refund and submit appropriate documentation. No administrative fee will apply for the international requests. The $50 fee will be waived for registrants who planned to travel into the US and experienced international travel issues.