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Learning partnerships

Collaborative data- and evidence-based decision support

15 April 2021
Learning partnerships are long-term often embedded engagements to answer important questions as they arise using a broad methodological toolkit.

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Why learning partnerships?

Over the past ten years, the IDinsight team has found that we often make the greatest contributions to enhancing the impact of our clients’ work by being a “guide on the side.”  In the past few years we have developed the learning partnership model in which we deploy an embedded team to serve as a specialized extension of the client’s own staff. 

Many government agencies and international NGOs aspire to routinely use data and evidence for decision-making, but lack the staff time, technical capacity, or both.  IDinsight teams can solve this problem with extended, open-ended engagements that are responsive to the client’s needs. 

Typical services provided within learning partnerships include in-depth program design efforts, evidence reviews, data analysis, and support to performance monitoring systems.   

Through close collaboration with in-house champions in client organizations, IDinsight team members gain an understanding of both the operational constraints and opportunities for improved use of evidence. They transfer skills and provide ongoing encouragement and inspiration around a culture of data and evidence use. 

The terms of each engagement are co-created by the client, IDinsight, and, in some cases, a third-party funder. This includes the aims of the work, the level of effort, the roles and responsibilities on all sides, and means of mitigating risks.

While learning partnerships require significant investments and flexibility by all parties, they have great potential to induce lasting improvements and sustained impact.