Strengthening a society’s institutions strengthens society itself. World Learning believes institutions work best when they fulfill their missions strategically, connect with key allies, and expand to serve a broader constituency. When institutions are strong, they not only serve their communities but drive meaningful change at the local, national, and international level.

World Learning realizes this vision by recognizing the organizations with which we work as partners. They are passionate advocates striving to engage more effectively with society. We work beside them as they set the ground for change internally, define the changes they need to make, develop a plan to achieve that change, and put their plans into action. Over time, our partners shift their organizational culture toward continuous improvement, strategically pursuing their missions and adapting to changing environments and positively affecting the system and communities within which they operate.

Read on to see how we incorporate the five signature elements of World Learning’s approach to change into our institutional strengthening programs or check out our Theory of Change for an even more detailed look at what sets us apart.


Experiential Learning: For over 90 years, World Learning has encouraged people to learn by doing—and then reflecting on their actions. Throughout our institutional strengthening activities, we achieve long-term outcomes by handing ownership of the process over to the partner organization. We promote active engagement, critical analysis, self-reflection, and respectful collaboration to ensure all changes are sustainable. Read more.
Leadership Development: Organizations need leaders who can strengthen from within. More importantly, organizations need to be leaders of meaningful change in their society. Our approach focuses on equipping our partners with transferrable skills and knowledge that will allow them to lead their own performance improvement activities and achieve sustainable results after our partnership has concluded. Read more.
Inclusion: It’s important to listen to all voices in an organization to create lasting change. We work closely with people at all levels of the organization to understand how it works and what can be improved. With their input, we can address performance gaps and reach their overarching goal. Read more.
Innovation: Organizations are constantly changing and adapting—and it’s essential to pursue creative ways to do so. World Learning’s custom approach to institutional strengthening helps organizations adopt cutting-edge techniques in everything from management to delivering value to their clients and societies. Read more.
Grants Management: World Learning is a leader in using grants as a development tool. Providing our partners with grants is a key element of institutional strengthening as it helps them continue leading change in their communities as well as build up the experience and good stewardship of funds necessary to pursue other funding opportunities. Read more.