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Comprehensive Community Initiatives, Improving the lives of youth and families through systems change, a toolkit for federal managers
How the toolkit was created What is a CCI? CCI Tools for Federal Staff
Develop your CCI Project
Guidelines to structure TA
3. Be prepared to offer sites many types of TA, and help them develop a flexible learning plan.
What is a learning plan?
A learning plan...
  • Builds on the comprehensive TA assessment.
  • States how the site will get the needed knowledge and expertise, through both internal and external resources.
  • Spells out the details of who, how, when, and how much TA.

A learning plan builds on the comprehensive assessment. It starts with the assessment's findings about the site's readiness, experience, and strengths.

A learning plan states how the site will get the knowledge and expertise it needs, through both internal and external resources. External resources include federally funded TA and other sources of TA that the site can tap. Internal resources include assets that are already present within the community--such as local facilitators, community organizers, business development experts, media professionals, staff and faculty of local colleges and universities, and natural neighborhood leaders.

A good learning plan spells out:

  • Who will receive TA.
  • The types of TA
  • How TA will be accessed
  • Who will provide TA, and how.
  • The time frame.
  • How the cost of TA will be defrayed.
  • Expected results/outcomes.
  • Who will followup on TA delivery and expected results.
  • What follow up is expected.
  • How often the TA plan will be revisited.
See the example of a learning plan used by Systems of Care.
How is a learning plan developed?
To develop a learning plan...
  • Build collaboration among the TA provider, the site, and the funder.
  • Prioritize and sequence TA delivery.
  • Build in flexibility; reassess every 6-12 months.

Build collaboration among the TA provider, the site, and the funder. The process of developing a learning plan continues the building of relationships and trust begun during the comprehensive assessment. If the initiative is new, acknowledge that you and the provider will be learning along with the site about what TA is useful. Even in established initiatives, you'll be learning about how TA applies to the site's unique circumstances.

Prioritize and sequence TA delivery. Make sure the provider works with stakeholders to develop an initial timeline and sequence for TA delivery that focuses on no more than two or three activities at a time. Although TA will most often be geared to site personnel and community stakeholders, in some circumstances TA might be opened up to youth, families, or even the entire community. The idea is to maximize your investment in TA by including everyone who might benefit and by using TA to build goodwill in the community. In general, TA will be better used and more effective if you can create a learning community among grant recipients, site stakeholders, TA providers, evaluators, funders, and the target population.

Make the learning plan flexible. Site TA needs will change over time and ideas about appropriate TA will also change with clarification and time. Be prepared to reassess every 6 to 12 months, and revise the plan if needs have changed. As you budget for TA, consider holding some funds in reserve to cover unforeseen needs.

What types of TA have sites found useful?

Beyond TA about how to build and maintain program services (including evidence-based practices and culturally responsive approaches to service delivery), CCI sites benefit from TA focused on systems change: