R4D introduces first-of-its-kind Collaborative Learning measurement tool

May 14, 2024   |   Global

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Results for Development (R4D) is pleased to share a new approach for capturing valuable insights into the progress and contribution to impact of Collaborative Learning Networks (CLNs).

The organization unveiled the Collaborative Learning Network Measurement and Learning Framework on May 14, 2024.

The framework, developed in partnership with Collaborative Impact and with funding from the Hewlett Foundation, provides an innovative, customizable set of methods to assess the impacts of the R4D-pioneered Collaborative Learning approach. Collaborative Learning convenes diverse change agents to exchange experience, learn from one another, engage in joint problem-solving on shared challenges, and co-develop practical knowledge tools and products.

“R4D has managed and facilitated more than 20 CLNs during the past 15 years, and we have repeatedly seen the value and magic of the approach through observation, process measures and country stories. But we have not had a standardized or rigorous way to measure impact,” said Collaborative Learning Practice Lead Amanda Folsom. “This Measurement and Learning Framework provides an accessible and adaptable tool to better assess and understand how CLNs are contributing to impact at the network, practice and systems level.”

In addition to creating an adaptable approach for generating robust and credible evidence on network performance, the framework opens a new avenue for demonstrating the value of CLNs to global policy makers and funders.

“The global development field has grappled for years with how to measure the complex and catalytic-yet-indirect contributions to systems change,” said Evaluation & Adaptive Learning Practice Associate Director Katie Bowman, who co-authored the framework. “By working closely with the Collaborative Impact team and stress-testing the framework with multiple networks in real-time, we’ve arrived at a framework that we’re thrilled to not only apply across R4D’s own CLNs but to share with the broader community as well.”

The framework has already proven successful in its ability to capture and disseminate this critical information. Using the CLN Measurement and Learning Framework, the R4D-led Linked Immunisation Action Network — a critical program for Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance — showcased its effectiveness and accomplishments in an Impact Brief that resulted in the Linked network’s renewal through 2025.

Launching alongside the framework is an updated edition of R4D’s Toolkit for Designing and Facilitating Collaborative Learning Networks — a technical, yet user-friendly how-to guide for anyone curious about Collaborative Learning, including facilitators, participants and funders. The toolkit includes a new module focused on how to deploy and utilize the Measurement and Learning Framework.

“Through dissemination of this measurement framework, R4D hopes to bolster the practice of Collaborative Learning within global development by offering a reliable and accessible method to demonstrate to funders the inherent value in the Collaborative Learning approach, while providing implementers with the data to support continual improvement of their collaborative learning networks,” said R4D Managing Director Tanya Jones.

The full framework is available to view and download here.

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