Collaborative Research Old

Understanding the Impact of Community Led Development

By Sera Bulbul and Izzi Volonte

In 2019, the Movement began a multi-phase collaborative research study to better understand the current practice of CLD, its impact, and the complex relationship between CLD and development outcomes.

Research questions

  1. How, why and under what circumstances has CLD led to improved development outcomes? 
  2. Is the present lack of evidence on the impact of CLD due to gaps related to theory of change, implementation, measurement, or a combination of all three?
  3. What adapted/emergent evaluation frameworks are most congruent with the complexity of CLD?

Phase 2: NEW!
Phase 2 of our collaborative research was funded under the IDEAL (Implementer-led Design, Evidence, Analysis, and Learning) Activity supported by USAID. It included a rapid realist review of 56 programs to unpack “How and in what contexts do key aspects of CLD – particularly leadership and facilitation – contribute to resilience and equity in relation to food security?”
It resulted in two guidance documents for funders and implementing organizations, outlining the key findings, their implications, and recommendations.

Download the research materials:

Phase 1:
Over 400 evaluations were submitted by 30 organizations for this study in phase 1.
A team of 35 Program and Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) specialists from 23 organizations worked together in three sub-groups (Scoping, Impact, and Evaluation) to unpack the current landscape of CLD practice and develop tools to strengthen it. Read more here

To join the collaborative research team or learn more, write to Research Lead, Gunjan Veda at

Watch the launch of the first phase of our research
Watch the Launch of our CLD Assessment Tool in Spanish!
Research Groups

Advisory Group

Scoping Group

The Scoping sub-group seeks to answer the following questions: What is CLD and how does it appear during the lifecycle of a program? What is the current state of CLD programming? To read more about the Scoping Group click here

Impact Group

The Impact sub-group sought to answer the following question: What does CLD do? For more information on the Impact Group click here

Evaluation Group

The Evaluation sub-group seeks to answer the following questions: What is the Impact of CLD? How do we capture this impact? To read more about the Evaluation Group, click here
Creative Commons License
The CLD Assessment and Quality Appraisal Tools by The Movement for Community-Led Development are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at