January 14, 2022
All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) was one of 13 finalists in the 2021 USAID Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Case Study Competition.
The annual competition captures real-life examples of USAID staff and partners using CLA approaches to achieve better development outcomes. Judges reviewed 80 submitted cases, which were asked to focus on how locally led development is fostered through strategic collaboration, how teams paused and reflected on activities, what was the learning cultures within organizations, and how activity implementation was adapted based on evaluation findings for performance monitoring.
ACR GCD’s case study, “CLA Strengthens Efforts to Improve Language and Learning for Children with Disabilities,” focused on our shift from supporting innovators and innovations at pilot (or proof of concept) stage to transitioning mature, evidence-based solutions for scale. This year, ACR GCD hosted six CLA sessions with its awardees and founding partners to embed learning into our awards life cycle and ensure partners and awardees have regular opportunities to share knowledge and experiences and adapt designs or technical assistance based on ongoing learning or changing circumstances.
For example, building on lessons from other Grand Challenges which found that heavy reliance on expert-led training did not adequately support innovators, ACR GCD established the Sign Language Storybook Cohort (SLSC) on the Slack platform. The cohort, made up of Begin With Books awardees and their disabled persons organization (DPO) partners, provides peer-led training on minimum standards for sign language storybook production and opportunities for awardees and partners to collaborate, learn and share resources.
Another example occurred during the pandemic, which presented our awardees with the opportunity to adapt and change. Our innovators were among the first organizations to develop new books with COVID-19 prevention messages for students easily accessible online in underserved languages.
All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development is a partnership between USAID, World Vision and the Australian Government.