Blog and News

Enhancing Learning and Collaboration: Highlights from the USAID Feed the Future Knowledge, Data, Learning, and Training Activity

May 21, 2024

By Meaghan Murphy, KDLT Chief of Party, and Anne Speca, Technical Director

In recognition of USAID Agency Learning and Evidence Month in May, we’d like to take this opportunity to reflect upon and share some highlights from our recently completed flagship learning contract, the Feed the Future Knowledge, Data, Learning, and Training (KDLT) Activity with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Resilience, Environment, and Food Security (REFS). Led by Bixal, along with our core consortium partners Training Resources Group and Q2 Impact, our team worked closely with REFS to enhance and deepen the learning process in support of the Feed the Future initiative and the wider goals of the Bureau to improve food security, reduce poverty, and strengthen the resilience of target countries worldwide.

Over the course of this five-year contract, our team adopted a highly cooperative approach, placing collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) principles at the center of our work with USAID. We combined the resources and expertise of REFS and USAID with our consortium’s expansive expertise in technology and digital solutions, human-centered design, organizational learning and development, communications, and data analysis and visualization.

Together, the Bixal-led team and USAID embraced adaptive management processes, working across funding and activity streams at the intersection of learning and food security. Our objective was to deliver tailored, innovative, and modernized learning activities that aligned with USAID’s goals and prioritized stakeholder needs and desired outcomes in the design and delivery process. Throughout the project, the KDLT team worked with USAID to test and apply cutting-edge technology solutions alongside tried and tested human-centered approaches. During the last quarter, we embarked on an interesting pilot workstream exploring the possibilities of artificial intelligence (AI) applied to knowledge synthesis and data analysis.

The team is proud of the following significant accomplishments:

  • Applied human-centered design principles to over 40 learning products, including e-modules, learning workshops, and job aids to strengthen USAID capacity to foster a more robust, modernized, and resilient learning ecosystem.
  • Delivered nearly 600 communications products from reports to podcasts to videos, that leveraged innovative design principles, accessibility compliance, and strategic communications to ensure that the right information reached the right people in formats that drove uptake and application.
  • Facilitated more than 125 USAID meetings and retreats involving over 3,300 staff to strengthen teams, clarify priorities and action planning, and share critical knowledge.
  • Leveraged 189 qualitative and quantitative analyses in service of work on key strategies, global initiatives, internal Bureau decision-making and Mission support and programming.
  • Produced over 75 webinars aimed at sharing knowledge and creating connections across implementing partners, USAID, and wider stakeholders in food security around the world.
  • Increased Agrilinks pageviews by 632% and ResilienceLinks pageviews by 82% through redesigned and engaging strategic communications, content strategy, and Agile web development approaches.

The KDLT End of Contract Report serves as a comprehensive learning product that explores our collaboration with USAID to transform and foster a learning culture and implement training, organizational learning, and knowledge management practices within the Bureau. Additionally, we supported the elevation and inclusion of stakeholder voices through modernized and engaging digital knowledge sharing platforms, videos, and events. We also leveraged data and learning to enhance decision-making and programming in practical and innovative ways in support of REFS’ expanding mandate and goals. Throughout the past five years, as the Bureau grew and adapted to institutional changes, challenges to food security, and global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, our efforts continued.

We invite you to explore the full report to gain deeper insights into how USAID and the Bixal-led team strengthened knowledge-sharing capabilities for multiple teams within REFS, as well as the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) and Bureau for Inclusive Growth, Partnerships, and Innovation (IPI).

View the full KDLT End of Contract Report here.

Photo by: Tanya Martineau, Prospect Arts, Food for the Hungry