Resilience Learning Activity (RLA)

The Resilience Learning Activity (RLA) is an Associate Award under the Feed the Future Kenya Livestock Market Systems Activity, a Leader with Associates (LWA) contracting mechanism, held by ACDI/VOCA. This LWA enables USAID missions in the East Africa region to access specialized services. Learn more here.

The Resilience Learning Activity has issued a Request for Applications for Technical and Capacity-Building Grants to conduct resilience-learning activities in the Horn of Africa aimed at contributing to the region’s Journey to Self-Reliance.

Background Narrative

USAID’s resilience programming in East Africa supports the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD) Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative, or IDDRSI. IDDRSI member states are working with USAID, which supports IDDRSI through their Resilience Framework 2.0 and the Horn of Africa Resilience Network.  

The goal of this collaboration is to end drought emergencies and increase the ability of individuals, households, communities, countries, and systems to mitigate and recover from shocks and stresses. A key piece to achieving increased resilience is through improved Knowledge Management, Collaboration, Learning, and Adaptation, and Institutional Development. The Resilience Learning activity is designed to support Regional and County-level governments by building capacity for those actors to improve their data analytics, knowledge management, and evidence base for resilience programs long beyond the life of the project. 

The Resilience Learning Activity (RLA) will support regional, national, and local organizations and institutions in Northern Kenya, Somalia, and the Horn of Africa to undertake analysis while strengthening their capacities for analytics, facilitating learning for adaptive management, and improving knowledge management and communication to align with USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance and the Horn of Africa Resilience Framework. ACDI/VOCA leads RLA in Northern Kenya and the Horn of Africa and Mercy Corps leads activities in Somalia. 

  • Increased analytic capacity for local and host country organizations 
  • Facilitated learning for adaptive management by local and host country organizations 
  • Improved Knowledge Management and strategic communications for local and host organizations 
  • Systems and network for CLA established and strengthened  

ACDI/VOCA’s activities under RLA will adhere to the following approaches: 

  • Locally led – Programming will focus on the belief that development and humanitarian activities should be locally led, locally managed, and locally driven. Creating opportunities for local partners and leaders to participate in decisions that affect their daily lives helps build trust in local government officials and institutions, promotes community ownership and buy-in, and enables future cooperation. 
  • Data for decision making – The activity will identify processes of analyzing systems, the impacts of various shocks and stresses across scales, and identify needed resilience capacities. RLA will place emphasis on accessing existing analytics, not building capacity to do analytics.  
  • Collective impact – RLA will expand upon the Collective Impact Approach utilized in the past under PREG Learning and HORN Learning, where the application of the five conditions for collective impact—common agenda, shared measurement system, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support—are the drivers for successful collaboration and resilience partnerships 
  • Conduct Resilience Profiles and Facilitate Institutional Architecture for Resilience (IA4R) in PREG Counties   
  • Oversee Concept Note System Programming to Support Local Partners to Analyze Data Through Learning Activities  
  • Develop Shared PREG Indicators and Measurement and PREF Learning Agenda 
  •  Provide PREG Backbone Support 
  • Support IGAD and NDMA in the Implementation of their KM Strategy and Platform 
  • Support GIS Training at PREG County Level 

Opening photo credit: Mark Wambui

Funder: USAID

James-Collins-COP Kenya LMS

Chief of Party: James Collins,

Project Director: Lucas Valente da Costa,

Project Specialist: Elbridge Boardman,

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