Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions on WLSME features. If you can't find the answer to your question, please contact us. We are continuously working to improve your experience, so please check back soon for additional information.

How do I...

Manage my Profile?

  1. Click the "Log in" button featured at the top of every page on WLSME.
  2. Click on the “Forgot password” link in the window that pops up.
  3. Enter your Learning Lab username or email address.
  4. Click the "Send" button.
  1. Click on the red “Create an account” button or the “Join WLSME” link at the very top of the homepage. Once you do, a short form will pop up. If you don’t see this form, try disabling your browser’s pop-up blocker
  2. Complete the required sections (Username, Email address, First and Last name, Country)
  3. You may have the option to request membership to a working group/community of practice. If you’d like to join one of the available groups, select it here
  4. Read and agree to the privacy policy
  5. Answer the security math question
  6. Click the “Create new account” button
  7. Check your email for a message from Learning Lab and click on the activation link to complete your registration. At this point, you will be prompted to create a password for the site

Once you are logged in, you’ll find the account menu accessible by clicking on your user name. Here you’ll be able to view and update your profile, change your account settings and see a list of the groups you’ve joined.

Click on the “Profile” option from the “My Account” menu to view your profile. To make edits, click on the “Edit” tab in the top left corner of the page or the grey “Edit my profile” under your picture.

  • On the Account screen, you can update your email address and password
  • On the LinkedIn screen, you can enable easy log-in through LinkedIn by connecting your accounts. Click “Save changes” to authorize the link and then follow the instructions on the LinkedIn pop-up window.
  • On the Main profile screen, you can upload a photo, enter basic information about yourself and your work, fill in the About Me text box (we recommend a 100-word maximum), and manage your privacy settings.

Don’t forget to save any changes you make to your account or profile!

  1. Click the "Log in" button featured at the top of every page on Learning Lab.
  2. Enter your username or email address and password in the LOG IN TO WLSME form.
  3. Click the "Log in" button.

Participate in an Event?

1. Log in or create an account. To create an account, click the "Join WLSME" button at the top of the page, below the USAID banner. Fill out the brief form, then verify your email to complete the account creation process.

2. Go to the WLSME Online Forums event page, accessible from the Events page or from your event invitation.

3. Click on "REGISTER TODAY."


4a. If the event is open to the public, you will be asked to confirm that you want to join the group. Click "Join."

4b. If the event is moderated, the event organizer will review your request and you will be notified if your membership request is approved.

After you have confirmed that you want to join WLSME Online Forums, you will return to the event landing page where you will see the agenda for the various topics by day.

If you have any issues or questions, please email the WLSME team.

There are two ways to participate in an Online Forum:

  • Online: Visit the Online Forum web site and post your replies and comments to the daily discussion topics.
  • Email: Reply directly to any email notification you receive to have your comments posted online and sent out via email.

First, log in to the WLSME site.

To comment on a discussion topic, click on the link to the specific day's discussion. Here you can see the comment stream where you can post a new comment or reply to a comment by clicking on the respective buttons. Type your comment into the box that appears and click "Post Comment."

Once you've joined the group, you will also receive emails containing the comments of other participants. You can reply to these by email and your comments will be automatically posted back to the Online Forum page and emailed out to the others joining the discussion. 

Can you share any tips for participation?

  • Sign in any time: The discussion will happen 24-7. Log-on when you can or participate via email. From your home, the office, between different time-zones, and from around the world... it’s easy to share your experiences!
  • Participate online or via email: Contributing to the discussion is easy!  Sign in to WLSME to post online or reply directly to the discussion emails you receive to have your comments automatically posted to the site.
  • Stay away from Microsoft Word: When posting, please avoid pasting text from Microsoft Word. Pasted text may not display properly in email notifications.
  • Don’t be shy: Everyone has something valuable to say. So whether you’re just starting out or an industry veteran, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, opinions, and experiences.
  • Not receiving messages? Check your spam or junk mail folders to be sure you're not missing out on the discussion. Set your email to make sure that email discussions go directly to your inbox.
  • Overwhelmed by emails? Consider moving emails from the discussion to a dedicated folder in your inbox until you have time to read through them. In Outlook, you can do this by creating a rule that automatically filters emails to a specific folder. For Google email, you can set up an automatic filter.
  • Sharing resources: Have a valuable resource to share with the community?  Please send all resources as attachments to Your resource will be posted online and participants will be notified via email. New resources will continuously be added to the "Resources" section available through the Online Forum home page.
  • Make your voice heard: Please remember to include your name and organization in your discussion comments so that your fellow participants know with whom they're learning and sharing.
  • Update your profile: Let us know who you are! Before the discussion, consider uploading a profile picture and filling in some information in your Agrilinks user profile to create a more personalized discussion space.
  • Get to know your facilitators: Information about facilitators for the Online Forum is available by clicking on the "Facilitators" tab from the main Online Forum home page.
  • Provide valuable feedback: You will have the opportunity to share your thoughts about the Online Forum through a short survey at the end of the event. Don’t worry, it takes less than five minutes but provides our team with important feedback so that we can improve future events.

WLSME contains both open and closed groups. In an open group, anyone with an account can join the discussion. Closed groups, marked as “moderated,” exist for internal groups and communities of practice that wish to engage with each other virtually in a private setting. This closed groups require you to send a request to join. You can find the list of groups on the Groups landing page here.

The first step to joining a group is to create an account (see FAQ for more information) and/or log in.

The next step is to click the “Request Membership” button after which A page will appear asking you to confirm your request. In the text box, please enter your name, organization, and position or job title before clicking the Join button.

  • An email will be sent you letting you know that your membership is pending.
  • Please note that membership approval is not an automated process, so a response from the group administrator may not be immediate. Requests are usually reviewed within 1 to 2 business days.
  • If your request has been approved, you will receive an email titled “Your membership request was approved.” If you don’t see this email within 2 business days, please check your spam folder before contacting us. Follow the link in the email to go to the group home page.

Registration: KDID webinars are held on the Adobe Connect platform. To register for a specific webinar, you can find the registration link either on the event page or in the event invitation. This will redirect you to a new page on the Adobe Connect system where you can create a password and fill in your professional details. Please save your password and remember which email address you use to register as this will be your user name.

Accessing the webinar: To access the webinar from your computer at the time of the event, use the link sent to you in your confirmation email and enter your email address as your user name and the password you created when you registered. A new browser window should open for the webinar.

You can also join the webinar from many web-enabled mobile devices, including Android phones, Blackberry PlayBook tablets, or Apple iPhones and iPads. To do so, you will need to download the free Adobe Connect Mobile App. Learn more »

For first-time users: If you have never used Adobe Connect before, we recommend joining the session a few minutes early to test your audio and run the Audio Setup Wizard (available from the Meeting menu). By default, all participants will hear the audio through computer speakers. For the best quality, please connect to the webinar using a hard-line internet connection.

Only the facilitators and presenters will be speaking during the webinar but all participants will be able to text chat using a dedicated chat box during the presentation. Please use the chat box to contribute your questions and comments at any time throughout the presentation.

The following video tutorial contains other useful tips about Adobe Connect webinar features:

Site help

There are two main ways to search through WLSME library:

  • You can enter keywords into the “search” box located in the blue menu bar. This will return results from across the site, but you can filter the results using the Content Type Menu, which has a Library Resource option.
  • If you’d rather just browse the library, click on the “Resources” tab in the main menu and select “Library.” You can then use the filters in the Library by selecting the terms and tags that interest you in the right-hand column to narrow down your selections.

In most cases, in order to comply with USAID accessibility requirements and to minimize the risk of sharing corrupted files, users are only able to upload PDF documents to the WLSME. Learn more about Accessibility.

To convert a file, such as a Word document, to PDF, there are several different options. WikiHow offers a good overview on how to create PDFs from many different formats, including Word, Word for Mac, Google Docs, and Open Office. View the step-by-step instructions.


What is...

USAID's WLSME website is a knowledge-sharing collaborative space where USAID staff and partners jointly create, share, refine and apply practical approaches in order to ground our programs in evidence and adapt quickly to new learning and changing contexts, maximizing development outcomes. In order to create a robust repository of information, Learning Lab accepts relevant resource contributions from community members throughout the development industry. Read the "How do I Contribute to the Site?" FAQs for more information on how to submit content. Inclusion on the site does not imply USAID approval or sponsorship of this content.


WLSME is a product of the USAID Knowledge-Driven Microenterprise Development (KDMD) Project. All content not generated in whole or in part from this funding mechanism is labeled a Community Contribution unless otherwise directed by USAID or the KDMD Project. All content, with or without the Community Contribution label, does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government. For full policies on content submission, please see the Terms of Use.

The USAID KDMD Project does not claim ownership of content you submit. By submitting content for inclusion on Learning Lab, you grant the USAID KDMD Project (the site's administrator) permission to publish your content online and to be accessible to a public audience.

WLSME provides collaborative online spaces for international development professionals to build networks, identify good practices, and find solutions to problems. Browse through the existing working groups to find other practitioners and professionals interested in a particular subject or field. Group membership varies from group to group. Some groups are open to all WLSME members; others are invite-only. Group members can post new discussions, comment, and share resources with a small community of goal-oriented professionals.