Project: Systematizing Learning at NI

Across many organizations, there is a general understanding of the ‘learning’ portion of the monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL), MEL, MEAL, etc. systems. However, learning is often described broadly and informally. Increased donor and public appetite for transparency and accountability have generated some momentum to move away from ad hoc approaches toward better-defined learning frameworks.

As a step in the direction of systematizing MEAL-related learning at NI, Limestone, in close collaboration with Nutrition International, developed and piloted a tool called the “learning narrative”. This tool is a standard template embedded with prompts to (1) encourage reflection on what staff are learning and why it matters for NI, and (2) facilitate efficient documentation of this learning. This “Systematizing Learning” project resulted in the creation of four learning narratives covering MEAL-related topics including, dashboards, gender in MEAL, the six-step process for MEAL plan development, and the project-specific monitoring system (PSMS).
By increasing the opportunities for routine knowledge sharing to inform the design or adapt existing programs, this work will help NI continue to work towards its strategic objectives of coverage, leverage, and influence.

Clients / Partners




Critical Appraisal of Learning Function at NI
  • Collect and analyze data regarding learning at NI
  • Draft critical appraisal report


Identify and Prioritize Potential Learning Narratives
  • Identify and prioritize learning narrative topics through workshops


Develop Learning Narratives
  • Develop and refine learning narratives


Share and Evaluate the Learning Narratives
  • Collect feedback on the learning narratives
  • Generate recommendations on systematizing learning at NI