Cda collaborative learning projects

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  • AnnuAl RepoRt

    CDA CollAboRAtive leARning pRojeCts, inC.June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013

    one Alewife Center, suite 400, Cambridge MA 02140, usAAvailable for download at:

  • CDA CollAborAtive leArning ProjeCts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on April 3, 2003. We are committed to improving the effectiveness of international actors who provide humanitarian assistance, engage in peace practice, and are involved in supporting sustainable development.

    CDA is funDeD PrimArily by governments AnD ComPAnies who suPPort us because we have a proven capacity to combine robust analysis with pragmatic solutions to deliver practical tools and techniques to field staff and international policymakers alike. Our methods are inductive; our approach is collaborative. We work with individuals and organizations in the development, humanitarian, peacebuilding, and corporate domains to assist them with identifying solutions to complex and shared challenges. Our partners are global, but our focus is local, i.e., on people and communities who stand to benefit most from the international assistance system.

    Photos: CDA

    Clockwise from top right: Do No Harm workshop, Yangon, 2013. Isabella Jean during a Listening Exercise, India, 2012 Photo: Chandrakant Deokar. Reflecting on Peace Practice workshop, Barcelona, 2013. Mary B. Anderson and Marshall Wallace signing their book opting out of War, Cambridge, 2013.

    Graphic Design by Jonathan Vogel-Borne

  • C D A A n n u A l R e p o R t 2 0 1 2 2 0 1 3 | 3

    message from executive Director, 4

    vision, mission, and guiding Principles, 5

    financial report, 67

    CDAs Collaborative learning Process, 89

    CDA Publications, 1011

    Publications in focus, 1215

    CDA Programs, 1725

    Corporate engagement Program, 1819

    Do no harm Program, 2021

    listening Program, 2223

    Reflecting on Peace Practice Program, 2425

    looking Ahead to the 2013-2014 fiscal year, 26

    board and staff, 27

    Donors, back cover


    On cover from left to right: Listening Exercise, Pakistan, 2013 Photo: Manuel Pereira. Corporate Engagement Program visit, Sierra Leone, 2011 Photo: CDA. Listening Exercise, Pakistan, 2013 Photo: Manuel Pereira. Corporate Engagement Program visit, Uganda, 2011 Photo: CDA.

  • 4 | C D A A n n u A l R e p o R t 2 0 1 2 2 0 1 3

    message from the executive Director

    Dear friends and colleagues,

    W elCOMe tO CDAs AnnuAl RepORt for the fiscal year June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013. We hope you enjoy the new format we have adopted for the report, with less text and more links to relevant resources.

    this has been a year of many transitions for CDA. First, we made a decision early in this calendar year to use the name CDA, rather than the elaborate name CDA Collab-orative learning projects. While this remains our legal name, everyone calls us CDA anyway! We have a new logo and tagline to accompany the new name. [Discover the story behind our name at:]

    second, I assumed the position of executive Director on January 1, 2013, following the three-year service of steve Darvill. steve decided it was time to return to Australia, where he is now in the vortex of rapid change in their aid program. For me, after ten years as Co-Director of the Reflecting on peace practice program, it has been a period of recalibration. As executive Director, my programmatic focus transitioned into attention to the administrative and financial challenges of the organization, as well as keeping track of all four of CDAs programs. so far this has been an enjoyable effort, as I work with such a dedicated and talented group of people.

    Finally, we have been slowly expanding the number of staff at CDA, and now have fifteen, a gain of two positions in one year. thus we decided to relocate to a bright and spacious new office in Alewife Center, Cambridge, MA. One of the new staff positions is associated with a special grant from the state Department for work on issues of corruption in central Africa. this is an exciting new challenge for CDA, undertaken in partnership with our colleagues at Besa Consulting in Canada. Meanwhile, the continuous challenge of extending CDAs outreach was met this year by launching a new, user-friendly website and adding a half-time position dealing with CDA commu-nications.

    this has also been a very productive year for CDA. We finalized and released two books at the end of 2012:

    Time to Listen: Hearing People on the Receiving End of International Aid and Opting Out of War: Strategies to Prevent Violent Conflict. Both of these publications draw conclusions from several years of evidence gathering and analysis. they are highlighted later in this report.

    In addition to these two books, CDA staff have shared their lessons through working papers, articles, issue papers, and guidance products on a wide range of topics of interest to humanitarian, development, peacebuilding, and corporate actors. Most of these are available on our improved website, and a list of publications is provided in this report.

    Also in this report, each of the CDA programs has briefly outlined their accomplishments during the 2013 fiscal year and their expected activities during the 2014 fiscal year. Yet as an organization, CDA is increasingly identifying cross-cutting lessons and challenges shared across its four programs. this coming year, in an effort to make cross-program integration a reality, we are exploring how best to realign CDA programs and link the rich array of partners with whom we work.

    Recently CDA has been exploring a cross-CDA collabo-rative learning effort regarding the general theme of prevention of armed violence. each CDA program has sorted through how it could contribute to learning in this area within their specialized area as we determine a specific focus for this effort. In a similar vein, we have recognized that each CDA program is addressing issues of monitoring and evaluation in one way or another. this is, then, another area for cross-cutting work. We are also seriously considering establishing CDA field presence in a few selected locations, in order to sustain application of CDA principles, lessons, and practical tools.

    We look forward to engaging with many of you during the year ahead. please let us know if you have any questions or feedback for us.

    best wishes,Peter woodrow

  • C D A A n n u A l R e p o R t 2 0 1 2 2 0 1 3 | 5

    CDAs mission, vision, and guiding Principles

    mission CDA facilitates collaborative learning promoting effective and accountable international engagements.

    visionCDA strives for a world in which communities and nations demon-strate resilience, drive their own development, and resolve conflicts without resorting to armed violence.

    guiding Principles

    respect | Accountability | fairness | transparency

    We maintain relationships of respect, accountability, fairness, and transparency with those whom we work and engage with, as well as with our learning partners and donors.

    People are a source of guidance

    The views and perspectives of people affected by international assistance are an important source of guidance for improving future practice.

    local Capacities are more effective

    Local capacities for economic development, social change, and peacebuilding are more effective and more sustainable as the basis for policies and practices.

    Context mattersContext matters, and all interventions have impacts on the societies and people involved.

    independence | integrity | Partnership

    We preserve CDAs independence and integrity by working with international organizations in a spirit of partnership.

    impartialityWe sustain our impartiality with multiple interest groups by refraining from becoming an implementing agency.

  • 6 | C D A A n n u A l R e p o R t 2 0 1 2 2 0 1 3

    financial report

    PerCentAge of ProgrAm eXPenses out of CDAs totAl eXPenses

    the accompanying pie chart shows the distribution of CDA expenses across all programs and administration. During FY 2012-13, 83% of expenses were attributable to direct and indirect program expenses and 17% to administration, monitoring, and evaluation.

    CDA generated $1,415,107 in new and previously obligated funds during FY 2012-13, ending May 31, 2013. this repre-sents a decrease of 33% when compared to the FY 2011-12 outcome ($2,098,911) and is similar to the FY 2010-11 income of $1,463,136. A significant portion of the difference between FY 2012 and FY 2013 can be attributed to the timing of when revenues were received.

    program expenses increased slightly over the previous fiscal year, from $1,541,611 to $1,741,267, resulting in a decrease in net assets of $326,160. Donors to CDAs programs this year include the German Ministry for economic Cooperation and Development, norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, us Department of state, us Agency for International Development, uK Depart-ment for International Development, peacenexus Foundation, total s.A., and suncor.

    CDAs financial statements are audited on an annual basis by Bernard Johnson & Company, p.C. in accordance with the Generally Accepted Accounting principles (GAAp) and the International Financial Reporting standards (IFRs). the following statement of Financial position and statement of Activities for the year ending May 31, 2013 are extracted from CDAs financial statements. the complete audited statements are available upon request to CDA management.

  • C D A A n n u A l R e p o R t 2 0 1 2 2 0 1 3 | 7

    statement of Financial position

    Year Ending May 31, 2013 May 31, 2012

    Assets us$

    total non-current assets 50,504 15,000

    total current assets 739,624 1,050,524

    total Assets 790,128 1,065,524

    liAbilities AnD net Assets us$

    total net assets 703,621 1,029,780

    total current liabilities 86,507 35,744

    total liabilities and net Assets 790,128 1,065,524

    statement of ActivitiesYear Ending

    May 31, 2013 May 31, 2012

    Revenue us$

    grant Revenue 1,110,620 1,691,780

    Contract Revenue 277,429 405,795

    other 27,058 1,336

    total Revenue 1,415,107 2,098,911

    expenses us$

    program expense 1,288,025 1,190,240

    Administration and support expense 453,242 351,371

    total expense 1,741,267 1,541,611

    CHAnge in net Assets us$

    net assets, begining of year 1,029,780 472,480

    net assets, end of year 703,620 1,029,780

    total change in net assets (326,160) 557,300

    financial report

  • CDAs Collaborative learning and Dissemination Processes

    Initial consultation: framing of the question + identication of information


    Initial case studies of eld experiences

    and literature review

    Consultation early themes and


    Additional cases studies and consultations:

    preliminary Issue Papers

    Intensive case analysis revised Issue Papers

    (provisional ndings)

    Feedback Workshops among practitioners validation/renement

    of learning

    Consolidated lessons


    Collaborative Learning Process

    Identication of an important question

    Progresss toward sustainable peace

    with justice

    New questions for study

    Development of practical guidance

    and toolsAwareness

    raising, general dissemination

    Training workshops

    Mentoring, coaching, accompaniment

    Dissemination Activities

    Improvements in program design, quality

    & eectiveness

    Organizational learning, systems change

    Desired results, not in CDAs control!

















    Theory of ChangeIf practitioners are provided with evidence-based findings regarding what works, and are accompanied through individual learning and organizational systems change, improved programming is more likely to achieve sustainable development with peace and justice.

  • C D A A n n u A l R e p o R t 2 0 1 2 2 0 1 3 | 9

    CDAs Core Commitment is to collaborative learning across organizations and contexts. the top cycle shows the typical steps in CDAs learning methodology. the bottom cycle depicts how CDA disseminates its findings through aware-ness raising, training, and other forms of engagement.

    Collaborative learning values: Involve people directly in the learning process. test assumptions and inform policy and practice from field experience. utilize joint reflective practice for mutual sharing and stimulating changes in policy and practice. Base learning on a wide range of perspectives elicited through open-ended inquiry.

    this years learning and Dissemination in numbers


    ness Raising efforts

    CDA wrote 21 publications,

    including 2 new books


    ining to build skills

    CDA delivered 57 presentations and led 13 training and

    workshop events


    ort program Design

    CDA responded to 4 DFID Help Desk Requests*

    *What is a Help Desk Request? CDA is engaged in the Conflict, Crime and Violence Results Initiative (CCvRi), which is a partnership between the uK Department for international Development (DFiD)s

    Conflict Humanitarian and Security Department and a consortium of leading organizations in the fields of conflict, security, and justice. CCVRI maintains a Help Desk function that provides direct and customized support to DFID country offices as they try to improve measurement of results

    in local contexts. CDA responds to Help Desk requests as a member of a CCVRI conflict-oriented sub-consortium, with CARe uK and search for Common ground.

  • 1 0 | C D A A n n u A l R e p o R t 2 0 1 2 2 0 1 3

    CDA Publications

    ArticlesQuestions for Planning Any Development Project. DnH program staff. CDA. june 2012Application of the RPP Program Reflection Exercise Addressing Land Related Conflicts in Tierra Firma. peter

    Woodrow, Koenraad van brabant. CDA.november 2012

    Aid Recipient perspectives on strengthening Country systems. Dayna brown. usAiD. november 2012

    the Do no Harm Chain: linking Analysis to Actio in using both DnH Frameworks. nicole goddard. CDA. May 2013

    What Do local people Really think? Do our evaluation systems Really Measure What Matters? Dayna brown. interAction: Monthly Developments.

    May 2013

    blog PostsWhen was the last time you just sat and listened? Dayna brown. CDA. December 2012Another look inside the aid industry. Dayna brown. CDA. january 2013

    old Whines. Marshall Wallace. CDA. February 2013

    We are committed to listen to you. isabella jean. CDA. February 2013

    the b-Word. Candice Montalvo. CDA. February 2013

    evidence is it in the eye of the beholder? Dayna brown. CDA. March 2013

    best practices. Candice Montalvo. CDA. April 2013

    listening leads to better outcomes. Dayna brown. CDA. April 2013

    booksTime to Listen: Hearing People on the Receiving End of International Aid. Mary b. Anderson, Dayna brown,

    isabella jean. December 2012

    Opting Out of War: Strategies to Prevent Violent Conflict. Mary b. Anderson, Marshall Wallace. lynne Rienner publishers.

    january 2013

    guidance notesRisk and Do no Harm. DnH program staff. CDA. August 2012

    Developing options. DnH program staff. CDA. August 2012

    Monitoring and Evaluating Conflict Sensitivity: Methodological Challenges and Practical So...


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