After-Action Review Resources

After-Action Review: Technical Guidance: This handbook—the USAID guide on how to plan, prepare, and conduct an after-action review—was developed by USAID Knowledge for Development (KfD) using the United States Army’s TC (Technical Circular) 25-20 as a guide. The Army developed the concept of AARs as an essential training methodology for soldiers in preparing for both combat duty and ongoing programs such as peacekeeping.

After-Action Review

An after-action review (AAR) is a structured review process, or debrief—usually a meeting— for project teams to reflect on an event or task they have just accomplished and analyze what happened and why, what worked well, and what can be done better or differently in the future.

By the end of this training session on AARs, participants will be able to:

Sample Output: After-Action Review

This sample after-action review documentation provides a real-life example of the discussion that took place and the findings that were recorded during an AAR.

Template: After-Action Review

This simple template provides six questions to guide discussion during an after-action review. Users can follow the template exactly or adapt the questions for their specific use.

Exercise: Practice for After-Action Reviews

This small-group-discussion exercise can be completed at the end of the AAR module. The purpose of this exercise is to provide participants an opportunity to think through the kinds of questions addressed by AARs and to apply the practice to an event or situation participants have experienced. Participants respond to several questions individually and then share their responses, reflections, and experiences in small groups.

Example: Ethiopia Net-Map Final Report

In this example final report, the Knowledge for Health team describes how they used Net-Map to complete a needs assessment in Ethiopia in 2010. The four-page report includes details on the research questions, methods, and the results concerning actors, links, and influence.

Peer-Feedback or Self-Reflection

This questionnaire is an after-action review specifically for Net-Map facilitators. After implementing Net-Map, set aside time to answer these questions on your own or with colleagues who provided support. The answers to these 10 questions will provide a basis for continual improvement and allow facilitators to broaden their thinking about how Net-Map can be used.

Intervention Planning Template

Use this template to help determine if Net-Map is the right tool to help achieve your goals. Answering questions about framing, authorizing environment, intervention design, map content, and logistics will also provide valuable insights into planning a successful Net-Map.

 Net-Map: Exploring Common Network Patterns

This hourlong exercise provides participants with an understanding of the value of Net-Map through the examination of 10 common network patterns. These patterns help participants discuss connections between actors and explore how these connections can help or hinder knowledge sharing. It is adapted from a similar exercise developed by the inventor of Net-Map, Eva Schiffer.


These presentation slides provide an overview of Net-Map including how it can be used for community-building, program planning and monitoring, and audience identification. They also include summaries of experiences from Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Malawi. For those who want to implement the tool, the presentation reviews the five steps: defining the question, the actors, the links, the goals of actors, and the actors’ influence. Additional slides provide details on digitizing maps, identifying net map as appropriate tool, and a template for collecting feedback.