“The Case Study tracker is rising!” This was the constant cry of the CariSECURE team as they raced against the clock to secure one of the 80 spots in the USAID’s 2021 Collaboration, Learning, Adaptation (CLA) Case Competition. Successfully entering the competition would add another first to the Strengthening Evidence Based Decision Making for Citizen Security in the Caribbean (CariSECURE) Project which has embarked on many firsts in the five years since its inception. The project is the first major player in the regional collection of disaggregated crime data, the first shared platform for regional security personnel and it is one of the first projects to own the immense goal of using data-based solutions to improve regional security.

So, it was no surprise when the CariSECURE team embarked on their newest “first” – becoming the first project in the Eastern Caribbean to share their story with the world via the CLA Case Study Competition.

To achieve this, they submitted their case,  ahead of hundreds of other cases globally. This was the reason that Shekita Walcott, CariSECURE Project Support Associate and Lead on the case study team, kept constantly monitoring the tracker which would close the competition when the 80th case was received. And submit they did! On a beautiful Saturday afternoon with the tracker nearing 75 percent capacity when the case was submitted.

“Just working on a project worthy of submission is already a win,” said Shekita who coordinated the various contributors to meet the fluid deadline. Adding, “CariSECURE can help other people embarking on similar projects navigate working with organizations in different jurisdictions, agencies and countries while still maintaining an inclusive gender lens.” She noted that it was an excellent opportunity to share lessons learnt in a succinct and engaging manner. The case study competition encouraged USAID-funded projects from around the world which were using a CLA approach to share their knowledge and best practices.

CariSECURE needed an intense CLA approach to address the organizational and developmental challenges the project faced. However, even though CLA was not intentionally embedded in CariSECURE’s design, the CLA approach was adopted and was crucial to achieving the project’s intended outcomes of multi-country intervention. The culture of not sharing crime data and resistance to change management across the region were some of the organizational challenges that prompted CariSECURE to use CLA mechanisms. The information included in the case showcased how CariSECURE`s theory of change, collaboration and knowledge management will help to significantly reduce development and organization challenges and improve the decision-making process in Caribbean public institutions.

The CariSECURE team now awaits the announcement of the Case Competition winners scheduled for fall. With bated breath, they wait to see if they will achieve another first – to become a finalist of the competition or even the winners!

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