Applying Adaptive Management for Results in a Fragile Environment


This Learning Note presents evidence synthesized from interviews with project staff, government stakeholders and other partners to understand how USAID/Haiti, stakeholders, and DAI used adaptive management to successfully implement the five-year USAID Water and Sanitation Project in Haiti to achieve successful results, even as Haiti struggled with its economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, the assassination of the President, and a major earthquake. While this document focuses on the water activities, the lessons apply equally to the sanitation activities. The three main key adaptive management lessons are 

  1. Establish, and work toward, a bold, aspirational vision for change. Manage capacity- building and activities toward aspirations rather than deficiencies.
  2. Find and empower the champions that can bring about the change. Listen carefully to the beneficiaries to understand their issues.
  3. Early successes are critical and build support for longer term change. They can be achieved even in uncertain environments.
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