Managing to Adapt: Analysing adaptive management for planning, monitoring, evaluation, and learning

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Adaptive management is at the heart of ‘Doing Development Differently’. It emerges from stakeholders’ calls for development programmes to be more flexible and responsive to their contexts. Whether it becomes a mainstreamed practice depends on how much it is embraced by donors and implementers alike, especially in funding, design, monitoring, evaluation, and learning cycles.

This report was developed by a group of students from the London School of Economics as part of their Master’s degree programme, in partnership with Oxfam Great Britain. It presents a collection of case studies from Oxfam and other agencies to illustrate concrete examples of how programmes can incorporate adaptive practices at different stages of the planning cycle. It also offers practical suggestions to development actors to support adaptive practices. It argues that PMEL for adaptive management entails flexible funding mechanisms; iterative design processes; developing locally owned approaches; and creating an enabling environment for learning.