Innovative Expansion Contract Helps USAID/Philippines Achieve CLA and MEL Goals

Panagora Group, a woman-owned small business, is leading an expansion contract for USAID/Philippines based on work we did to strengthen monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) and collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) activity and capacity in the Mission’s Health Office.

Panagora led the USAID/Philippines Collaboration, Learning, and Adapting for Improved Health (CLAimHealth) activity, a four-year MEL Platform with an all-Filipino team, led by Chief of Party Dr. Mary Ann Lansang. Over four years, from February 2018 to March 2022, CLAimHealth successfully provided innovative CLA and MEL services to USAID/Philippines Office of Health. 

The key to our success? Mission commitment and leadership, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, creation of an inclusive CLA Technical Working Group and representative CLA champions from many walks of life including government. By connecting all the voices in USAID’s wide-ranging health work – from AORs and CORs, to IPs, to government and other local actors – we were able to strengthen collaboration across the Office of Health’s diverse activities and optimize health results by obtaining buy-in and agreement to adapt interventions based on evidence. 

As a company dedicated to locally led development principles, we structured our approach to implementing CLAimHealth accordingly. Our fully Filipino staff was complemented by all-local short-term experts and partners. Over time, we hired one local American.  

As a company also invested in promoting learning and adaptation for better development outcomes from start to finish, we held three well attended closeout events for CLAimHealth to share our lessons learned and best practices for maximizing the benefit of MEL platforms — with USAID in the Philippines, with USAID PPL to reach a USAID worldwide audience, and with our global team to benefit our many other MEL platforms. Click here to learn more about CLAimHealth.

The highly participatory, inclusive model of collaborating, learning, and adapting and fostering evidence-based decision-making to ensure better development outcomes proved so successful that the Mission decided to adopt it across its whole portfolio. 

USAID/Philipipnes designed the Mission-wide MEL and CLA activity, USAID Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting for Improved Development (CLAimDev), to continue the work and bring these services to the rest of its technical offices, including the Office of Education, Office of Economic Development and Governance, and the Office of Environment. Launched in August 2020 with a mostly Filipino team, Panagora is proud to be implementing this five-year activity.

As the director of the USAID/Philippines Office of Health Michelle Lang-Alli puts it, “The journey continues… The mainstreaming of CLA across the Mission will characterize the next chapter in the partnership between USAID and the Philippines.”

Upon the recent closeout of the CLAimHealth activity at the end of March, USAID/Philippines integrated the full CLAimHealth team into the Mission-wide CLAimDev team for continued support to the USAID Office of Health, its implementing partners, and other stakeholders in health M&E/CLA.

We applaud USAID’s support of small business and their acknowledgment of the value that small business brings in helping achieve our common goals of better and locally development outcomes.