On December 9, 2021, we opened a joint office for the two USAID-funded activities we implement in the Philippines: Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting for Improved Health (CLAimHealth) and Collaborating, Learning and Adapting for Improved Development (CLAimDev).
CLAimHealth has been providing CLA and MEL services to the Office of Health since March 2018. USAID/Philippines then launched CLAimDev in July 2021 to 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.
To celebrate the opening, our teams organized a traditional office blessing. In the Philippines, people hold blessings when they acquire new possessions of value. Such observances are meant to bring positive energy, harmony, and happiness, and ward off bad luck and evil spirits. After the blessing, CLAimHealth Chief of Party Mary Ann Lansang and CLAimDev Chief of Party Susan Minushkin welcomed the teams.
At the event, our team and several of its counterparts at the Philippines Mission mingled and enjoyed a meal together. As CLAimHealth Chief of Party Mary Ann Lansang remarked, “We have not seen each other for two years, nor had we met our CLAimDev colleagues in-person, so the office blessing was an excellent opportunity to get to know each other and reconnect with our USAID colleagues.”
During the pandemic, CLAimHealth and CLAaimDev have used creative and engaging ways to connect with USAID/Philippines technical offices and build internal team synergy, overcoming the obstacles of continually shifting restrictions on travel and meeting in-person. Although both activities remain primarily remote, the new office will be an important space for the two activities to collaborate safely on an as-needed basis until CLAimHealth’s close out in April 2022. Then the office will serve as CLAimDev’s long-term home base. As the pandemic settles, it will eventually also be a place for holding learning events, including any USAID wants to host there.
“We are excited that the CLA work begun under CLAimHealth will be rolled out to the rest of the Mission offices and their respective implementing partners, knowing how much value it brings to organizational learning and development and collective pursuit of the goals of the Mission. We have a lot to share and are very hopeful that most of the CLA tools developed over the years will be adapted by CLAimDev for the CLA work in the Mission,” said CLAimHealth Chief of Party Mary Ann Lansang. CLAimDev Chief of Party Susan Minushkin agrees, adding, “We are using the CLA model and strategy CLAIM Health developed and adapting and expanding it to the different perspectives and CLA needs of the other technical offices and the mission overall.”
Please join us in celebrating this momentous occasion!