Working Groups of the Scaling Up Community of Practice

Five Working Groups on scaling up in selected thematic areas are active under the umbrella of the Scaling Up CoP. These are listed below with the names and e-mail addresses of the coordinators. For more information on the agenda of each working group and on how to join a working group, please contact the respective coordinator(s).

We are currently exploring the setting up of a sixth Working Group on Social Enterprises. If anyone is interested in supporting this idea or joining such a group once set up, please contact Larry ( or Johannes (

Working Group topicWorking Group coordinatorsCurrent status of Working Group (WG)
Scaling Up in EducationNitika Tolani
The Education Working group expects to hold its next virtual meeting in December 2018/January 2019.
Scaling Up in Fragile StatesLarry Cooley

Jonathan Papoulidis
The OECD published its States of Fragility 2018 report in late July. It highlights key trends and recommendations for addressing fragility in
a diverse range of contexts: The African Development Bank announced in September its new fragility and resilience country assessment tool: MSI (Larry Cooley) and World Vision (Jonathan Papoulidis) presented in late July on scaling solutions in fragile contexts to a group of 22 first time UN Resident Coordinators based on this paper:
Scaling Up in Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD)Maria Elena Mangiafico (IFAD)

Frank Place (IFPRI)

Laura Schreeg (USAID)
IFAD recently overhauled its scaling up Website (, which serves as an information resource platform for the Working Group, and potentially for the CoP more generally. Members of the ARD Working Group actively supported the
preparation of the conference on scaling up in ARD held at Purdue University in September 2018. The Working Group expects to hold its next virtual meeting December 2018/January 2019.
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) for Scaling UpLarry Cooley
The M&E Working Group held a 75-minute virtual meeting on August 2nd. The session continued the group’s year-long effort to flesh out Tiers 2 and 3 of a 3-tier M&E framework previously developed by the group to support scaling. Earlier sessions included a presentation and discussion of the framework and a case example (John Floretta, Teaching at the Right Level). In this session, Jim Ricca, Learning and Implementation Science Team Leader for the USAID-funded Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), presented a case focusing on the design and use of dashboards as a key element of Tier 3 M&E, based on MCSP experience in a variety of countries. Jim’s presentation was followed by a lively discussion of necessary complements to dashboards; the most practical ways to monitor implementation process as well as outcomes; advice for choosing indicators; guidance for getting new indicators incorporated into national reporting systems; ways to tighten the links between monitoring and learning; and strategies for enhancing data use at all levels, beginning at the local level. The next two virtual meetings of the M&E working group will focus on (1) techniques and guidelines for monitoring and improving the scaling process and (2) new frontiers in the use of real time data and real time scaling labs.
Community of Practice on Systematic Approaches to Scale-up on Family Planning/Reproductive Health Best PracticesLaura J. Ghiron (U.Mich.)
A major activity of the Health TWG – also known as the CoP on
Systematic Approaches to Scale Up - over the last quarter was to organize a technical convening focused on the relationship between adaptation and scale up. The convening, which took place on July 11, 2018, consisted of presentations by: Joseph Petraglia (Director of Syntegral); Shannon Wiltsey-Stirman, (Assistant Professor Psychiatry
and Behavioral Sciences Department at Stanford University and the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System); Alexis Ntabona (ExpandNet member, Democratic Republic of the Congo); Jennifer Drake, PATH, Director of Advancing Contraceptive Options Portfolio). The large attendance of the convening by participants from a wide range of organizations as well as the spirited discussions attested to
the importance of the role of adaptation in the process of attaining sustainable scale up. Work by several CoP members on a thought piece on this topic for publication as a journal commentary is underway. In addition, the CoP/TWG organized its first country-based scale up convening in Nigeria on September 24th, in collaboration with Pathfinder International’s Nigeria Office. The meeting was attended by senior leaders from several FP/RH-focused institutions and provided an opportunity to learn about major scale-up initiatives currently underway across several states in the country.

Special Features

Conference Report – Agriculture

Purdue University Conference on “Innovations in Agriculture: Scaling Up to Reach Millions” (Purdue University)

The Scale Up Conference, “Innovations in Agriculture: Scaling Up to Reach Millions”, was held at Purdue University on Sept. 25-27, 2018. The conference brought together 225 individuals representing 100 organizations and 21 countries from around the world. Conference participants are engaged in the development, introduction, diffusion, and adoption of agricultural innovations that have the potential to reach millions of people. Attendees represented researchers, entrepreneurs, implementing organizations, small and large businesses, donor organizations, and government funding agencies. Conference attendees came together to discuss best practices for scaling up agricultural technologies that could impact the world. They gained an understanding of successful, sustainable large-scale implementation.

The opening session featured keynote speaker Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, 2017 World Food Prize Laureate, and Purdue alumnus. The conference was organized by Purdue University in partnership with the African Development Bank Group, an organization focused on spurring sustainable economic growth and social progress in its regional member countries. Conference organizers at Purdue University were Suzanne Nielsen (Professor) and Carolyn Woo (Emeritus President & CEO, Catholic Relief Services), both of whom are affiliated with Purdue’s Office of Corporate & Global Partnerships.

Featured speakers included Robert Bertram (Chief Scientist, Bureau for Food Security, USAID), Simeon Ehui (Agriculture Global Practice, World Bank Group), and Enock Chikava (Deputy Director, Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).  Experts on scaling who were lead speakers for the major sessions in the conference included Larry Cooley, Richard Kohl, Johannes Linn, and Mark Huisenga. Panel discussion participants included Julie Howard, Simon Winter, and Lennart Woltering, who are active in the Agriculture and Rural Development Working Group within the Community of Practice on Scaling Up Development Outcomes.  Conference attendees have been encouraged to remain engaged in conversations about scale up in agriculture through this working group within the Community of Practice.

Purdue University, in partnership with the African Development Bank, will publish in late 2018-early 2019 a “Scale Up Sourcebook”.  This short, easy-to-use guidebook on scaling agricultural innovations, will be informed by the content of the Scale Up Conference.  Larry Cooley and Julie Howard, as lead editors, will summarize key insights, tools, examples and references on topics covered in the conferences: designing for scale, assessing scalability, financing the scaling process, critical drivers for scaling, and effective use of partnerships to support scaling.

The conference program is available at the conference website ( default.aspx), which has been updated to include abstracts from posters and breakout group, along with videos and slides of the presentations made by conference speakers. Also see the CYMMIT blog on this conference: avoiding-the-next-aral-sea-scaling-responsibly/

Contact: Suzanne Nielsen (

Interview – Rural Development

Releasing the energy of rural youth – Entrepreneurs help their neighbors farm more profitably (Syngenta)

Young people continue to leave farms for the cities. Some, however, seize rural business opportunities if these become available. Their enthusiasm can lift entire agricultural communities. Robert Berlin, Head of Agriservices at the Syngenta Foundation, explains.

Question: What do you see as the greatest barrier to improving smallholders’ livelihoods?

Robert Berlin: In developing countries, a major agricultural challenge is access. For smallholders, access to a wide range of goods and services can catalyze the move from subsistence agriculture to sustainable income. These elements include markets, infrastructure, training, technologies, seed and other inputs, credit and machinery.

Question: Access alone is surely not enough on its own, though?

No, that’s just part of the story. Another key to making farming a rewarding profession is the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of rural communities, particularly youth. When young people see their parents work very hard for little reward, a life spent in farming is not an attractive prospect. New opportunities are essential.

Question: What sort of opportunities does your Agriservices team provide?

Young people’s entrepreneurial dynamism is at the heart of three initiatives: Agri-Entrepreneurs (AE), Farmers’ Hubs (FH) and Mechanization Service Centers (CEMA). These started in India, Bangladesh and Senegal respectively. Their success is now leading to replication elsewhere.

Question: Let’s concentrate on Agri-Entrepreneurs. How does this idea work?

Launched in 2014, the AE model has become one of our flagship initiatives. It provides what is sometimes called ‘last-mile delivery’. An AE is typically a young man or woman, perhaps previously unemployed. He or she works with up to about 200 local farmers. AEs ensure that smallholders have access to information, inputs, credit and markets. Their ability to foster trust in close-knit communities is crucial. In return, they are empowered to play a vital role in local agricultural development. Competition to become an AE is keen. Successful candidates receive a strong grounding in agricultural techniques, business and entrepreneurial skills.

Question: How does the Syngenta Foundation scale up its programs?

Partnerships are vital in all we do. They’re typically Public-Private Partnerships. We want to create functioning markets and avoid charitable dependence. So unlike some organizations, we always aim to involve the private sector. We are also keen users of digital technology. The combination is crucial for scale-up. Our AE program is a good example. We’re working here with Their digital platform helps poor people learn and connect in large numbers. We also link AEs with financial institutions and other commercial partners to provide the best services for smallholders.

Question: What about the future? Where is your AE program heading next?

The AE model currently links some 500 entrepreneurs with approximately 75,000 farmers. That’s up from 300 and 40,000 at the start of 2018. Local governments in India are sponsoring training of more AE, and investment from the Tata Trusts is ensuring expansion of the scheme. We aim to replicate the Indian scheme in other countries soon.

Contact: Robert Berlin

Special Feature – Agriculture

SWFF Innovators Take Specific Industry-Relevant Actions to Drive Enterprise Scale-Up (USAID)

“Securing Water for Food”, through the Technical Assistance Facility, supports mission-driven innovators by providing acceleration services that influence their pathway to scale-up and help them to pinpoint key management decisions that enable their success. From determining innovator commitment to grow and understanding their ambition to scale, we work hand-in-hand with innovators to set realistic milestones and targets and guide them toward concrete, practical actions with targeted accelerations services. These services enhance skill sets, guide the implementation of standardized and repeatable processes, provide a track for growth, and improve the innovators’ ability to meet business objectives, whether they be related to sales, human resources, business modeling, and the like.

Over the past three-and-a-half years, the team has influenced and supported capacity-building and nurtured SWFF innovator development through three levels of direct acceleration support. Through business model canvas engagements, for example, SWFF innovators identify their core competencies, most important customers, competitive strength, and a relevant growth path for their organization. Their targeted efforts to focus on poverty reduction, sustainability, and gender all feed into the expanded positive impact of their scaling path.

Through our 150+ acceleration support activities, the SWFF TA Facility acts as an invested partner and mentor to guide innovators’ journey to grow. Though not all of the innovators are on the same trajectory, we’ve documented 10 specific business actions that many of them have taken to create a positive momentum toward scale up. They have:

  • Positioned their business with the flexibility to experiment, adapt, pivot, and even fail in some aspect of their business to meet changing customer needs and market demands
  • Dealt with tactical challenges, identified emerging growth opportunities, and took on new business directions to spur growth momentum
  • Created the right business environment and strengthened financial operations to accept funding arrangements that are not grants-based
  • Focused on people-centered growth and innovative solutions that address customer needs and marketplace realities
  • Put in place the right systems, people, and structure to handle growth
  • Requested internal capacity building in sales and marketing for patterned and optimized growth as a key priority and a primary driver for scale-up
  • Shared lessons learned with other innovators and partner organizations
  • Been open to coaching, inspiring compromises, and healthy debates from those fully invested in their business success
  • Built and executed capabilities in storytelling, knowledge sharing, and thought leadership to enhance reputation and brand
  • Worked to be investor ready and have the right systems in place for growth capital SWFF innovators are big picture, aspirational market leaders that have harnessed the power of metrics and milestones-setting for business growth and scaling. We’ve seen evidence of how they gravitate toward outside perspectives and advice to drive success and expand capacity to ensure that their technology or business model improves the water is being used for agriculture.

We have learned that grants provided with acceleration support yields success in turning business ideas and start-ups into entities that are ready to take the path to scalability. In addition to providing grant money tied to milestones, the SWFF program has invested in innovator potential through the provision of SWFF TA Facility acceleration services. This combination of support has resulted in an increase the value of their businesses, increase their market-facing activities, improvements in their functional accountability, and has help them to identifying their engine of growth. (

Contact: Alexis Bonnell

Special Feature – Agriculture

Scaling Readiness: An Approach to Assess and Accelerate Scaling of Agri-Food Systems Innovations (IITA)

Scaling of agricultural, food and other livelihoods innovations is one of the biggest challenges for research and development organizations. One of the key problems is the lack of approaches that can facilitate evidence-based decision making on which activities and partnerships can support scaling of innovation towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Scaling Readiness has been developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Wageningen University (WUR) under the CGIAR research program on Roots Tubers and Banana (RTB). Scaling Readiness provides a 5-Step Approach that iteratively support research, development and donor organizations in the design, implementation and monitoring of impactful and cost-efficient scaling strategies.

(see Table below)

Scaling Readiness uses science-based methods to identify and overcome bottlenecks for scaling of innovation. It breaks down innovation packages and analyses its individual technological, policy, market and partnership components along a 9-Level Scaling Readiness Ladder (Figure below). Levels range from low readiness for scaling (Levels 1-4: innovation is idea of which individual components have been tested theoretically), to medium readiness for scaling (Levels 5-7: individual components or innovation package tested in controlled environment), to high readiness for scaling (Levels 8-9: innovation package proven to work in uncontrolled environment). Similarly, Scaling Readiness analyses whether innovation components are commonly-used in scaling locations to inform scaling potential. Scaling Readiness builds on the premise that components with low Scaling Readiness obstruct the whole innovation package from scaling. Such information guides government, public and private scaling partners in designing, implementing and monitoring better scaling strategies.

Scaling Readiness is currently used by R&D organizations in 12 countries covering 4 continents. For more information, please visit or contact Dr. Murat Sartas ( A series of newsletters report on the approach:

  • Newsletter 1: Introduction to Scaling Readiness
  • Newsletter 2: Basic concepts behind Scaling Readiness
  • Newsletter 3: CGIAR Case Studies that have used Scaling Readiness in developing and implementing their Scaling Strategies

Special Feature – Agriculture

Sustainable Harvest International is scaling up (Sustainable Harvest International)

As friends of Sustainable Harvest International, Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) wants you to be among the first to know about the noteworthy changes SHI has in store in the coming months and years.

SHI is proud of what it has accomplished over the past twenty years. It has planted four million trees while working with 3,000 families to transform degraded land into regenerative farms. At the same time, SHI recognizes that too many rural families continue to live in poverty and feel they have no choice but to destroy forests in an attempt to grow enough food to feed their household. And the realities of the climate crisis are getting harder and harder to ignore. Intensifying hurricanes, droughts, and flooding are becoming more common throughout Central America, and indeed, across our entire planet. These environmental realities have significant economic, cultural, and security consequences for us all.

SHI is confident that its successful program can play a leading role in resolving these critical global problems. The SHI Board of Directors recently approved the following scaling vision: “Through regenerative agriculture, Sustainable Harvest International will work directly with farmers, and with partners who will replicate our methodology, to halt and reverse the degradation of eight million acres on one million farms and achieve food security for five million people by 2030.” This scaling vision aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of Life on Land and Zero Hunger while also promising to impact others such as Good Health and Well-being, Decent Work and Economic Growth, No Poverty, and Climate Action.

SHI’s program has been recognized by well-respected institutions such as Charity Navigator, Food Tank, and 1% For the Planet for its innovative and lasting impact. SHI is now ready to play a leading role in a global paradigm shift from destructive farming methods to regenerative practices that nourish our planet and all the life it supports. To that end, SHI Founder, Florence Reed, recently adopted the title Director of Strategic Growth to reflect her focus on the imperative to scale up our global impact. At the same time, with the imminent departure of the highly respected SHI Executive Director of the past six years, Renée Johnson, a search is under way for a new executive director who shares the SHI mission and values and possesses skills and experience to lead the organization as it embarks on this exciting new chapter. The position has been officially posted ( jobs/view.php?id=14), but expressions of interest as well as feedback and suggestions are welcome at any time via e-mail or telephone at 207-669-8254. Committing to our new scaling vision of halting and reversing the degradation of eight million acres on one million farms and achieving food security for five million people by 2030 is a bold step SHI is proud to take at this critical moment in time.

Contact: Florence Reed

Special Feature – Education

Finding our SweetSpot: STIR’s Learning Journey within Systems (STIR)

(by Sharath Jeevan with Reinier Terwindt, James Townsend & Nithya Gurukumar – STIR Education, with thanks to 17 leading funding and operating organizations who contributed to this piece).

Over the past six and half years since STIR was founded, it feels like we have been grappling with where we best fit within systems. We’re an international NGO that supports governments to re-ignite intrinsic motivation in teachers and local officials, through teacher networks. We are currently working with 200,000 teachers and 6 million children across Uganda and four states in India.

With the benefit of hindsight, we’ve actually tried four different system sweetspots (see table below) – each requiring its own culture, operating model, measurement and sustainability approach. We’re now feeling               settled and comfortable in the System Learning Partnerships sweetspot. And we’re learning that occupying this sweetspot requires adhering to two core principles:


  1. We need fertile motivational soil in systems – as much as we need technical seeds – to grow the solid oaks of system reform.

There are now great technical interventions out there in our space. But much of the new systems research in education shows that demotivated teachers and local officials often fail to internalize, and sometimes actively resist, strong technical interventions. We need to spend as much time generating the demand for technical interventions – through intrinsic motivation – as we do getting them ever more perfect. And only then can multiple technical interventions flourish together in a given system, so we make a real sustainable dent. That’s a unique contribution we hope to make to systems.

  1. Creating Genuine System Learning Partnerships is enormously demanding in culture.

Genuine system learning partnerships need to meet what we call the “Chai test”. Can we sit down over a cup of chai (tea) with leading officials and have an honest conversation? Particularly about system conditions – we’ve learned that our approach is highly sensitive to four key ones. We’ve developed a system diagnostic tool to help diagnose these upfront, and then work with governments and donors to improve them over time. That’s a second, structural contribution to systems we hope to make.

We hope our learning journey within systems saves others similar pain. There is no “right” system sweetspot, of course – we would just suggest that every organization needs to think carefully and candidly about what system sweetspot they really want to occupy. And once they are clear, they align everything in their operating model around that – particularly their organization values and culture.

Contact: Sharath Jeevan (

Special Feature – Nutrition

Eleanor Crook Foundation: ECF Incorporates Considerations of Scale and Sustainability Into All Future Grants

On October 15th, 2018, The Eleanor Crook Foundation (ECF) released the third annual request for applications (RFA) for its flagship RISE (Research, Innovate, Scale, Establish) for Nutrition grant portfolio. ECF is a private grantmaking foundation focused exclusively on global nutrition. At the Global Nutrition Summit in Milan in 2017, ECF made its first large financial pledge: to invest $100 million in nutrition by 2030. The RISE for Nutrition annual RFA is a key vehicle through which ECF will fulfill that pledge. Our grantees are top-level researchers from many of the most respected institutions working in global nutrition today, who are creatively designing and testing groundbreaking innovations. Through our RISE portfolio, ECF funds implementation research on cost-effective, scalable innovations designed to improve nutrition interventions in East Africa.

Though ECF has always placed significant value on the scalability of our research investments, until recently the Foundation did not have clear and pragmatic guidance to support ECF’s grant-making decisions and grantees. For several years, ECF has employed a conceptual pathway to scale in which research passes through three “Phases”: Phase One, in which grantees rigorously test innovations in a single real-world setting; Phase Two, in which grantees test proven innovations in multiple different contexts; and Phase Three, in which grantees work with relevant stakeholders to bring the tested innovation to scale. Although these Phases have served as excellent scaffolding for ECF’s thinking on scaling, they have provided no practical guidance to our grantees (or to ECF internally) on how to move from one Phase to another.

To address these gaps in guidance, ECF is excited to announce the first installment of our Grantee Guidance Series: Theory of Sustainability and Theory of Scale. This resource provides RISE applicants with a set of considerations and recommendations for their planning at all Phases of ECF-funded research. The Scalig Up CoP’s leaders, Larry Cooley and Johannes Linn, were instrumental in creating this resource.  ECF hopes these theories will serve as a resource that organizations in the global nutrition community (both ECF-funded and others) can use to integrate considerations of scale and sustainability more clearly into their project design and implementation.

Through experience with our previous RISE grants, we have learned that it is much easier to bring grantees from one Phase to another if they address key considerations of scale and sustainability–such as plans for ongoing funding, a thorough stakeholder analysis, clear advocacy and developing strong local connections–in their initial project design. However, incorporating these considerations is resource-intensive for research and implementation organizations, and less likely to generate donor dollars than merely proving the efficacy of a new innovation in one setting. Thus, ECF observes that many pilot projects go no further in the nutrition sector, just like in most other development sectors. Too few funders provide incentives from the get-go for researchers to design for scale and sustainability for those innovations with positive results.

We are not only laying out a clear guidance document for scale and sustainability considerations at each funding Phase, but ECF also plans to include potential scalability as a key criterion for grantmaking decisions, and to host an in-person scaling workshop for shortlisted RFA applicants. In taking the time to build grantee capacity to implement scalable, sustainable projects, ECF hopes to help pave the way for other donors to more thoroughly consider issues of sustainability and scalability as well.

It is time donors provide the tools and funding that implementers need to ensure that their innovations have the potential to achieve maximum, lasting impact at scale. ECF is excited to work closely with the Scaling COP as we continue to hone our approach to working with grantees to define and implement sustainable projects at scale. On a final note, ECF is also pleased to announce that scaling expert Johannes Linn has joined ECF’s Expert Advisory Board to formally advise on ECF technical decisions.

ECF’s Theory of Scale and Sustainability can be found here (https://static1.squarespace.

com/static/551db914e4b0998e40bbd10d/t/5bc518a971c10b9813d5c1e6/1539643577159/ecf-grantee-guidance_Oct2018.pdf) and here the application to the 2018 RISE RFA ( static/551db914e4b0998e40bbd10d/t/5bc5fef408522 9d984b1d15c/1539702518251/ecf-request-for-applications_2018+FINAL.pdf).

Contact: Nicki Connell (

Special Feature – Health

Scaling Bihar’s innovations beyond its border: The Learning Exchange for Adaptation and Diffusion program (CARE)

Over the last seven years, CARE has partnered with the Government of Bihar, India with the support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to dramatically change health outcomes for women, children and families. In 2011, we began testing various innovations across 8 districts, and today we continue to support health system innovation across the entire state through the Technical Support Unit to the Government of Bihar. The scale and scope of the CARE program is enormous – covering all 534 blocks in 38 districts of Bihar and involving at least 400 public sector hospitals and over 200,000 frontline workers to cater consistently and reliably to over 10 million mothers and their babies. The core innovations currently being scaled in Bihar span the facility, community and systems level, aiming to improve quality of care and strengthen the health workforce. Our partnership with the Government of Bihar and statewide scale up of our core innovations has yielded impressive results, such as a drop in the infant mortality rate from 61 to 38 per 1,000 live births between 2005 and 2018, and a drop in the maternal mortality ratio from 312 to 165 per 100,000 live births between 2005 and 2018. More information about our work in Bihar is found on our website,

As our work continues in Bihar and other parts of India, we also aim to support many more countries that face the same challenge of overcoming poor maternal, child and reproductive health outcomes and have an immense need to build a better healthcare system. CARE will share, adapt and scale proven innovations from Bihar through our Learning Exchange for Adaptation and Diffusion (LEAD) program. LEAD is an innovative approach to adaptation and diffusion supported by CARE’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) team and CARE India. This program started in December 2017 and has already experienced small wins such as the adaptation and replication of Bihar innovations in two northeast provinces in Cambodia and plans for adaptation and replication of innovations in Bangladesh and Nepal. LEAD has also helped facilitate cross-learning and experience sharing among our various country offices. Last month a CARE team from the Sunamganj district in Bangladesh and local government officials visited Bihar to better understand the referral system and mHealth tool innovation used by frontline health workers. As we look towards the future, we envision LEAD becoming a multi-stakeholder platform within and outside of CARE that supports the diffusion and adaption of SRHR innovations.

Contact: Ryan Derni (

Member News

African Development Bank (Agriculture)

2018 Leadership4Agriculture Forum: The African Development Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation with support from Initiative for Global Development (IGD) hosted the 2018 Annual Leadership for Agriculture (L4Ag) Forum ( to drive action-oriented and growth investments to fuel Africa’s agro-industry prosperity. The invitation-only forum was held on November 6, 2018, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The full day program brought together African government and US, African and global business leaders for the 2018 Annual Leadership4Agriculture Forum whose focus was on “Advancing Bold Leadership for Africa’s Agribusiness Investment: Scaling Up Industrial Parks and Special Crops Processing Zones.” Panel discussions explored ways to design and finance processing zones; how to invest in transport corridors and logistics; and where leadership can be strengthened to take Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness to the next level on the continent. All participants were able to engage and discuss what was important for making agriculture more productive, efficient and competitive in their country and where they felt forging suitable public-private sector partnerships could be necessary to move important actions forward. Wrapping up the 2018 L4Ag engagement, IGD will be assisting the AfDB and the Rockefeller Foundation to plan more actionable steps for 2019. The full 2018 L4Ag Report will be available in December 2018.

Contact: Frederic Teufel (

Brookings (Education)

The Center for Universal Education at Brookings recently published a blog, “Investing in global knowledge sharing for our children,” (https://www.brookings. edu/blog/education-plus-development/2018/10/10/ investing-in-global-knowledge-sharing-for-our-children/) which shares key findings from a recent report on the critical importance of investing in cross-border knowledge sharing for scaling quality education and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4. The blog underscores that evidence alone is not enough; investing in capacity development and networks is also key. The Scaling Up Community of Practice is mentioned.

Contact: Jenny Perlman Robinson (

CIMMYT (Agriculture)

The SeedAssure is a digital platform that gives automatic feedback on compliance and seed production management, along with remedy options. This quality assurance and certification tool and platform ( was developed by Cellsoft, a supply chain management software company, with input from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the Qualibasic Seed Company, the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and CIMMYT. SeedAssure is starting its roll-out this month in East and Southern Africa: with USAID/ CIMMYT support, private seed companies that are members of CIMMYT’s IMIC Consortium are beginning free trials of the tablet and QA modules on their farms. On the public sector side, CIMMYT, CellSoft (developer of SeedAssure) and USAID’s Regional Economic Growth office met with KEPHIS officials on October 1, 2018 to discuss integrating the tool into their system to upgrade their Inspection management capacities and receive data from participating seed companies. SeedAssure is also being demonstrated at the OECD Seed Certification training run by SANSOR in Zambia in November, at which NPPO’s from across the OECD region will be attending. SeedAssure was also demonstrated at the CGIAR Big Data event held in Nairobi this month to great enthusiasm from the agriculture data community, including those developing pest and disease modules that could be future modules on the SeedAssure platform. Last, leadership on the scaling effort is also in process of being handed over to AFSTA with support from USAID, CIMMYT and AGRA. Moreover, as part of an event organized by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Program (CIMMYT) at the Kiboko research station of the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) on September 17, 2018, participants field-tested a beta version of SeedAssure.

Contact: Kate Fehlenberg (

ExpandNet (Reproductive health)

The ExpandNet Secretariat dedicated a major portion of the last quarter to providing technical support to projects and related activities in Nigeria and Kenya. In Nigeria ExpandNet with the Evidence to Action Project, supported a range of stakeholders to develop a scaling-up strategy for task-sharing contraceptive service provision to community health extension workers in early 2017. This quarter, the ExpandNet Secretariat supported state-level actors to launch a documentation effort to capture critical learning about the process and outcomes associated with implementing the scale up strategy. A report and brief about the experience should be available in early 2019. In Kenya, the ExpandNet Secretariat assisted Jhpiego’s Jilinde Project which supports the introduction and scale up of the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) pill as a major new addition to the prevention of HIV transmission. A rewarding lesson from this experience was to see the extent to which Jilinde built on and benefited from the Jhpiego-led Tupange Urban Reproductive Health Project which ExpandNet had supported with scaling-up guidance for several years. In other words, sustainable scaling up learning from one project to another – even in different technical areas – is feasible and beneficial.

Contact: Laura Ghiron (ljghiron@ and Ruth Simmons (

Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) (Agriculture)

In 2017, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH launched a special Task Force on scaling to support international agricultural research centers to bring innovations from research into use on a massive scale. The Task Force on Scaling is an international, interdisciplinary and multi-locational team currently working in places ranging from Mexico and Kenya to Vietnam. The members of the Task Force are seconded by GIZ to CGIAR’s international agricultural research centers and the World Vegetable Center through the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM) integrated expert facility. GIZ’s Advisory Service on Agricultural Research for Development (BEAF) provides leadership and coaching to the Task Force members in user-centered approaches, such as design thinking and systems thinking. In addition, The Task Force members draw on the experience of GIZ in scaling ( ID=244574000) to improve on the design and delivery of innovations. The support from the Task Force to the centers ranges from capacity enhancement and mainstreaming of scaling to project implementation. Please check because soon we will be hiring eight second-generation experts.

Contact: Sabrina Storm

Global Solutions Summit (General)

The Global Solutions Summit (GSS 2018) (http://www. convened at United Nations Headquarters in New York City on June 4, 2018. The official theme of GSS 2018 was “From Lab to the Last Mile: Technology Deployment Business Models for the SDGs.” GSS 2018 set out to showcase the specific business models and financial mechanisms that NGOs, social enterprises, entrepreneurs and foundations are using to scale up the deployment of affordable, financially-sustainable development solutions in emerging markets, especially the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).  But while the Summit did address these issues, the discussion also evolved into a much more profound analysis of what it will take to mount a technology deployment program on a scale commensurate with the goal of achieving the SDGs by 2030. The conclusion from the Summit is that success in terms of the 2030 Agenda will be out of reach unless we find ways to accelerate the current pace of deployment far beyond what is already considered wildly ambitious.  A summary of the key takeaways and policy conclusions generated at the Summit is available here. (–_final.pdf)   The Summit Agenda and speaker presentations are available here (http://www. and here ( html).

Contact: Alfred Watkins

Innovation Investment Alliance/Mercy Corps (Social enterprise innovation)

The Innovation Investment Alliance (IIA) (https://www. is a funding and learning partnership between the Skoll Foundation and USAID’s Global Development Lab, with support from Mercy Corps, that has invested almost $50 million in eight proven, transformative social enterprises to scale their impact. Together, we aim to create systems-level change across sectors and geographies and draw out lessons on scaling that are applicable to the social enterprise community and inform the ongoing conversation on how to create sustainable impact at scale. The Innovation Investment Alliance and CASE at Duke University have partnered to create Scaling Pathways, an in-depth look at best practices and case studies for scaling impact. Their reports address the question “How do social entrepreneurs and the funders who support them scale solutions to widespread problems, such as poverty and climate change?” The series includes ( (a) Pivoting to Impact: Diving into the critical global lessons learned and information vital to enterprises and funders trying to scale.  (b) Case Studies: Telling the stories of three organizations, their scaling strategies, pivots, successes, and failures on the road to scale. (c) Thematic Studies: Detailing some best practices in financing, government partnerships, talent acquisition, pathways to scale, and data.

The most recent reports in the Scaling Pathways theme study series, “Leveraging Government Partnerships for Scaled Impact,” are available at these links:

Contact: Amanda West

Innovations for Poverty Action (Education)

Evaluating an At-Scale Targeted Instruction Program in Ghana: Ghana, like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, has greatly expanded access to primary school in the last two decades, but very few children meet academic standards for their grade. A recent evaluation by Innovations for Poverty Action (https://www. found that the Teacher Community Assistant Initiative (TCAI) (https://www.poverty-action. org/study/evaluating-teacher-community-assistant-initiative-ghana) , a targeted instruction program implemented in 500 schools in Ghana, improved children’s basic skills in numeracy and literacy, but implementation was uneven and compliance with the program was low among classroom teachers. IPA has since partnered with Ghana Education Services, UNICEF, and others, to evaluate ( study/importance-management-support-teacher-led-targeted-instruction-ghana) whether additional managerial support from head teachers and circuit supervisors can increase the likelihood that teachers implement targeted instruction in their classrooms. The results will help inform Ghana’s Ministry of Education on how teacher-led targeted instruction can be replicated at scale in Ghana.

Contact: Bethany Park (

International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) (Agriculture)

IFAD is continuously looking at how innovation can be used to solve the bottleneck created by inadequate access to finance to support agriculture and rural development. Working with partners, IFAD is establishing an impact investment fund that will enable access to needed capital for smallholder farmers and rural small and medium enterprises. This Agricultural Business Capital fund (ABC) will provide direct financing for rural enterprises (SMEs) with a priority focus on supporting rural youth. The ABC Fund will also have a Technical Assistance Facility to help them build skills and learn entrepreneurship.

IFAD is also member of the Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN) – an inclusive partnership of actors working in different parts of the global ecosystem for agricultural and related small and medium enterprise (SME) finance and investment. SAFIN partners recognize that smallholder farmers and other agri-SMEs are key investors in the rural economy and in food systems. The partners also understand the challenges they face, particularly in accessing finance for investment, and share a common vision of more inclusive and sustainable agri-finance ecosystems, from the global to the local levels. Ultimately, SAFIN partners share a commitment to work together towards a common of more inclusive and sustainable agri-finance ecosystems. The network functions as a pre-competitive space to join forces around strategic collaboration opportunities, share knowledge and support each other. Find out more about the SAFIN network: safin_brochure_september2018. pdf/2c96bc45-fca6-42c8-918f-7e00c6607c67

Finally IFAD has produced an infographic illustrating its approach, examples of scaling up and way forward. See infographic: Scaling+up+in+agriculture_infographics. pdf/146b0502-f120-4984-9d9f-56df300ce22c

Contact: Maria Elena Mangiafico (

J-PAL (Education)

J-PAL and Pratham have launched new “teaching at the right level” website TaRL website ( with case studies ( of the program in action in different contexts. The blog post ( on the J-PAL website shares how J-PAL Africa applied a framework for thinking about the generalizability of evidence across context to inform the program’s adaptation in Zambia.

Contact: John Floretta (

PPPLab (Agriculture)

In October 2018, PPPLab ( and CIMMYT ( launch a new version of the Scaling Scan (, a practical tool to determine the strengths and weaknesses of a scaling ambition. Successful scaling of agricultural innovations requires that at least as much attention is paid to complementary non-technological requirements. These non-technical requirements form the basis for the tool, which is built around 10 “Scaling Ingredients” (such as finance, collaboration, and scaling leadership) that each require attention to reach a scaling ambition. Through a self-assessment based on these 10 ingredients, the Scan helps to get clear what scaling requires in a specific context. In doing so, it helps to formulate a realistic and responsible scaling ambition and to prioritize bottlenecks and opportunities that should be addressed to achieve that scale. The tool is meant for anyone looking to scale impact; project coordinators, managers, technical experts, implementers, etc. and can be used individually or in teams during workshops. The Scaling Scan is best applied at the start of a scaling process to help understand what scaling your innovation requires, but might as well be used as a monitoring tool to learn how the scalability of the innovation changes over time. Interested to learn more? Visit the PPPLab website ( or reach out to the contacts below.

Contacts: Floortje Jacobs (; Lennart Woltering (

R4D (General)

R4D has started a new website and a series of blogs hosted by R4D’s Scaling Innovations practice, which aim to advance the effective integration of innovation solutions for health, education and nutrition. Over the coming months, R4D will explore the challenges and lessons associated with the design, implementation and evaluation of innovation programs, labs and partnerships with an eye toward tangible insights and practical guidance for others engaged in doing development differently around the world. The website is found here:

The first blog asks: “Has the Focus on Innovation in Development Taken a Wrong Turn?” Many consider innovation a key factor for achieving the SDGs, but in most sectors, we seem to be stuck in an endless cycle of pilots, hype and showcases — with little to show in terms of sustained gains. Why is that? R4D’s Nathaniel Heller, David de Ferranti and Tom Feeny offer an explanation in their recent article: chasing-ghosts-how-the-focus-on-innovation-in-development-has-gone-down-the-wrong-path/

Contacts: Thomas Feeny (

UNDP (General)

Investing in scaling innovations and in scaling processes at the UN Development Programme (UNDP): In 2014, UNDP established a dedicated Innovation Facility to test and scale novel solutions. Since its inception, the Innovation Facility supported more than 140 UNDP initiatives that had scale-potential with seed-funding and supported more than 20 initiatives on their pathway to scale. Read more about results so far here

This year, the Call for Proposals ( view) entailed again a dedicated window for scaling – along with windows for radical innovations and business model innovations. It targeted UNDP Country Offices and is supporting larger organizational efforts to embed experimental approaches across programmes and policy support functions. The Innovation Facility received over 195 proposals and just announced the winners. With the help of a diverse panel of expert scorers ( file/d/1DbTqiRM-uut0vsRvLQ1uMlrdkkiZPldY/view), 29 winning initiatives were identified. Some of them further pursue scaling pathways that target larger reach, others scale processes and apply new ways of working to different contexts and different development challenges.

Here ( is the list of initiatives that receive funding from the Innovation Facility. If any of these are of interest, please reach out to benjamin. UNDP is constantly looking for new partners in its journey to test and scale more effective solutions.

Contact: Benjamin Kumpf

USAID (General)

Global Grant Opportunity: USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures Accepting Applications

USAID is looking for creative ideas to solve any global development problem. Anyone, anywhere can apply at any time! USAID’s open innovation program – Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) – is accepting applications to test and scale breakthrough solutions to any global development challenge. USAID will provide tiered grant funding to test new ideas and invest in solutions that demonstrate rigorous evidence of impact, cost-effectiveness, and a viable pathway to scale. Learn how to apply to USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures! ( )(

USAID Learning Lab

The fourth annual Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Case Competition was held April 9 – May 31, 2018 and we received 127 case studies of CLA in action. This year’s winners make for a good read and evidence that M&E is integrating many important scaling principles:

Contact: Alexis Bonnell (

Other Publications, Videos and Events


Ann Mei Chang has released her new book on November 6, 2018 – “Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good” ( dp/1119506603/)

In her forthcoming book, Ann Mei Change, formerly a Silicon Valley executive and Chief Innovation Officer at USAID, asks whether, despite enormous investments of time and money, we are making a dent on the social and environmental challenges of our time. What if we could exponentially increase our impact? Around the world, a new generation is looking beyond greater profits, for meaningful purpose. But, unlike business, few social interventions have achieved significant impact at scale. Inspired by the modern innovation practices popularized by bestseller The Lean Startup that have fueled technology breakthroughs touching every aspect of our lives, LEAN IMPACT turns our attention to a new goal–achieving radically greater social good. Social change is far more complicated than building a new app. It requires more listening, more care, and more stakeholders. To make a lasting difference, solutions must be embraced by beneficiaries, address root causes, and include an engine that can accelerate growth to reach the scale of the needs. Lean Impact offers bold ideas to reach audacious goals through customer insight, rapid experimentation and iteration, and a relentless pursuit of impact. Ann Mei Chang’s book is based on inspiring stories from interviews spanning more than 200 organizations across the U.S. and around the world.


CGIAR case studies on scaling climate smart agriculture

A new paper by scientists at the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) addresses the advantages and disadvantages of specific approaches that hold out promise for scaling up climate-smart agriculture (CSA) to contribute meaningfully to the challenges of poverty and climate change. The paper builds on the existing agricultural adoption and CSA literature to unite the concepts under a common framework and draw from the learning to inform future actions.


Scaling up successfully: Lessons from Kenya’s Tusome national literacy program. 2Fs10833-018-9325-4

Ben Piper, Joe DeStefano, Esther Kinyanjui and Salome Ong’ele recently published an article in the Journal of Educational Change (August 2018, Volume 19, Issue 3) on the successful scaling up of an early grade reading program in Kenya: “Scaling up successfully: Lessons from Kenya’s Tusome national literacy program.” In addition, a blog by Piper and DeStefano about the lessons that can be drawn from the Kenya experience is posted here:

Abstract: Many successful piloted programs fail when scaled up to a national level. In Kenya, which has a long history of particularly ineffective implementation after successful pilot   programs, the Tusome national literacy program—which receives funding from the United States Agency for International Development—is a national-level scale-up of previous literacy and numeracy programs. We applied a scaling framework (Crouch and DeStefano in “Doing reform differently: combining rigor and practicality in implementation and evaluation of system reforms.” International development group working paper no. 2017-01, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC, 2017) to examine whether Tusome’s implementation was rolled out in ways that would enable government structures and officers to respond effectively to the new program. We found that Tusome was able to clarify expectations for implementation and outcomes nationally using benchmarks for Kiswahili and English learning outcomes, and that these expectations were communicated all the way down to the school level. We noted that the essential program inputs were provided fairly consistently, across the nation. In addition, our analyses showed that Kenya developed functional, if simple, accountability and feedback mechanisms to track performance against benchmark expectations. We also established that the Tusome feedback data were utilized to encourage greater levels of instructional support within Kenya’s county level structures for education quality support. The results indicated that several of the key elements for successful scale-up were therefore put in place. However, we also discovered that Tusome failed to fully exploit the available classroom observational data to better target instructional support. In the context of this scaling framework, the Tusome literacy program’s external evaluation results showed program impacts of 0.6–1.0 standard deviations on English and Kiswahili learning outcomes. The program implemented a functional classroom observational feedback system through existing government systems, although usage of those systems varied widely across Kenya. Classroom visits, even if still falling short of the desired rate, were far more frequent, were focused on instructional quality, and included basic feedback and advice to teachers. These findings are promising with respect to the ability of countries facing quality problems to implement a coherent instructional reform through government systems at scale.

Social Enterprises

Hob and spoke: the Indonesia start-ups that morphed into an Asian giant hob-and-spoke-the-indonesia-start-ups-that-morphedinto-an-asian-giant (12 October 2018)

Chris Wright (12 Oct 2018) analyzes how the Indonesian founders of a social enterprise to help rural women cook and a platform for bike taxis combined their operations to form GoPay, a payments system that has become the largest digital wallet in southeast Asia. GoPay may be one of the impressive entrepreneurial ventures in southeast Asia, but this multi-billion success story can trace its origins back to a pot in a village and a motorbike in a city.


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