Putting adaptive management into practice

This event is full. To be added to the waiting list please contact André Clarke: aclarke@bond.org.uk.

Gain a deeper understanding of adaptive management and how to apply this approach in your team and organisation.

To be most effective in their work in complex and fragile contexts, NGOs need to put learning at the centre of their programme delivery, be more responsive to local contexts and work more flexibly. Adaptive management is an approach that supports flexible and exploratory ways of working by providing a management framework that gives team members the ability to innovate, test solutions, fail and change direction if necessary; and gives funders the level of accountability and confidence in outcomes that they require.

For those who are ready to take their basic understanding of adaptive management to the next level, this afternoon session will consolidate your current knowledge and explore leading examples of adaptive management in practice. You will leave the session with new ideas about how to use adaptive management tools, processes and techniques to increase the impact and sustainability of your work.

As space is limited, priority will be given to Bond members.

Who is it for?

For programme, MEL, finance, HR and operational staff and managers who want to use a more adaptive approach to increase the impact and sustainability of their work. This session is for you if you’re looking for practical examples of what’s worked and what hasn’t to help kick start new ways of thinking and working within your team and organisation.

What will you learn?

By the end of the afternoon you will be able to:

  • Explain what adaptive management is and when and why it might be useful to you
  • Identify ways to increase the effectiveness of your programmes by drawing on practical examples of adaptive management tools, processes and approaches
  • Develop and test your own adaptive management tools and processes that best suit the needs of your team, programme or organisation


The session will run 13:15 to 17:15. Registration from 13:00.

Introduction: What is adaptive management, and why is it 'a thing'?

  • Background, key principles and concepts
  • The donor landscape
  • Where is adaptive management appropriate?
  • What problems can adaptive management help solve?

How to working adaptively

  • How do traditional approaches and adaptive approaches differ?
  • Case studies of adaptive programmes – practical examples of what was done differently, what tools and processes were tested, and what worked and what did not
  • What is needed to work in an adaptive way? Team composition, budgets, reporting regimes, relationships with partners are all as important as the programme tools themselves
  • Entry points for innovation in your work – how could you make it easier for your teams or partners to work adaptively?

This event is full. To be added to the waiting list please contact André Clarke: aclarke@bond.org.uk.


Deborah Mansfield

Deborah is an experienced development practitioner who has led the innovative DFID LASER programme for the past three years. She has particular expertise in investment climate reform, institutional strengthening and women's economic empowerment.