Learning from Failure 2020

Publication Date: 20201008

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.

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