failure

Learning from Failure 2020

Part of striving for the deepest and most sustainable impact at the biggest scale possible is understanding what doesn’t work. CARE’s commitment not only to the highest quality programming, but also to continual improvement, drives us to celebrate our successes and to examine our failures. In 2019, CARE published our first Learning From Failure report, where we looked at what project evaluations told us was going wrong, and areas where we can strengthen our programming to improve our impact. By analyzing broader trends across several projects CARE can get a broader sense of systemic weaknesses that lead to failures in specific cases. We pair this with our podcast with individual case studies where we look at specific examples of failures and how to address them so we can illustrate trends with illustrative examples. That gives us the space to make bigger strategic changes to address underlying causes of failure and support teams to improve work at all levels. One example of this is targeting CARE’s investments in Monitoring Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL) systems and capacity building to address common failures we found. In 2020, we repeated the analysis to see where we are improving, and where we still need work. Read More...

Learning From Failure 2019

Driven by a wish to learn more from what goes wrong in our programming, and to examine where changes to the broader organization and system can improve our programming and impact globally, in 2019 CARE undertook its first evaluations-based failure meta-analysis. This analysis draws learning and evidence from 114 evaluations of CARE’s work from 2015-2018 to understand the patterns and trends in what goes wrong. This helps us take a data-driven approach to strategic investments and action plans to live out CARE’s commitment to high program quality and continuous improvement across the board.
The review draws from project specific data, but deliberately anonymizes the data and focuses on overarching trends to remove blame for any specific project team or set of individuals. This exercise is designed to help us learn more about how we can change our processes and patterns of support and engagement around weak areas to improve our work. CARE is using this data to build action plans and next steps to continuously improve our programming.
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