Adaptive Action Planning Workshop: the What, Why, and How?

By Esrael Woldeeyesus, SDRM-SI DE Deputy Team Lead, Headlight Consulting Services, LLC.

Many institutions conduct or commission studies or facilitate discussions to generate evidence to identify successes and areas for improvement. However, taking recommendations into action can be a challenge for two reasons: (1) some perceive evaluations or studies as just compliance activities and have not set aside adequate resources for needed adaptations, and (2) others have not had exposure to the systems or tools that could help exercise adaptability despite their interest to use evidence to inform necessary adjustments. Therefore, after generating evidence, this guide is intended to support the process of digesting the evidence to come up with necessary adjustments and a plan to implement them. Headlight is sharing the following Adaptive Action Planning Workshop Guide to support the efforts of adaptations and provide tools to facilitate the process. 

Conducting an Adaptive Action Planning Workshop is a powerful approach to improving intentionality toward Adaptive Management. It helps to break down recommendations or needed adaptations into manageable tasks, identify deliverables, assign roles and responsibilities, and follow up on the progress of agreed actions. This guide shares with facilitators of such workshops key considerations and steps to lead effective workshops that identify additional support and adaptations needed for implementers.

This seven-page guide (plus annexes) details the steps to organize and facilitate adaptation workshops. These steps are categorized into three phases: pre-workshop, during the workshop, and post-workshop. In addition, there are sample tools, email communications, templates, and other resources that facilitators can use during virtual or in-person workshops.

The guide is built based on Headlight’s successful experience facilitating several adaptation workshops with USAID/Ethiopia implementing partners as part of its Developmental Evaluation support to the Mission’s Strengthening Disaster Risk Management Systems and Institutions (SDRM-SI) Project. For instance, Headlight facilitated Adaptive Action Planning Workshops for the Growth through Nutrition (GtN) team at Save the Children, Reading for Ethiopia’s Achievement Developed (READ II) team at Creative Associates International, and Resilience in Pastoral Areas (RiPA North) team at MercyCorps.

View the Facilitator’s Guide

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