Member News (by Working Group)

Agriculture & Rural Development Working Group


Revisiting Nigeria: A Snapshot of the AflasafeTM Market and its Unrealized Potential

This blog reports that more than 4.5 billion people in developing countries are exposed to aflatoxins, one of the world’s most carcinogenic substances, through their diets, particularly via groundnuts and maize. Biocontrol solutions, like AflasafeTM, have been proven effective to combat aflatoxins, but many smallholder farmers don’t know that these technologies exist, let alone how to access and apply them. The AgResults Nigeria AflasafeTM Challenge Project (2013-2019) tackled this issue in Nigeria’s maize value chain by encouraging the private sector to provide AflasafeTM and related training to the country’s vast smallholder farmer population, using Pay-for-Results prizes as an economic incentive. With 35 competing businesses reaching 75,788 smallholder farmers and aggregating 213,510 MT of AflasafeTM-treated maize, the project was deemed a success. But the story has changed dramatically in the four years since: AflasafeTM sales have faltered, and widespread aflatoxin contamination in Nigeria and the surrounding region continues today. This article looks at four assumptions from the AgResults project to understand what happened and why a seemingly effective solution has not gained traction in the market.

Contact:  Mallika Padmanabhan


Challenging the status quo : How bottom-up Disruptive Seeds can transform Guatemala’s food systems

This blog is about the Disruptive Seeds work carried out as part of CGIAR’s Initiative on Climate Resilience (ClimBeR) in Guatemala. Disruptive Seeds refer to sustainable, bottom-up initiatives and practices that have the potential to grow in impact and scale and to challenge the unsustainable status quo, setting in motion transformative change. In a workshop in Panajachel, Guatemala earlier this year, people involved in such Disruptive Seed initiatives convened and developed future visions of a just and sustainable food system in Guatemala, based on the potential of their Disruptive Seeds. They subsequently worked on pathways toward these visions, in which Disruptive Seeds grow and scale, ultimately replacing current unsustainable agricultural practices and becoming part of a new system. These so-called transformative pathways are now being used to inform the formulation of actionable policies, plans and strategies aimed at making agriculture more sustainable in the face of climate change. The workshop also provided a space for people involved in Disruptive Seeds to learn from each other and build collaborations that strengthen and potentially scale their efforts.”

Contact: Lucas Rutting;  Marieke Veeger


Update on the Scaling Scan – a user-friendly tool to quickly identify opportunities and challenges for scaling innovations.

The Scaling Scan helps project teams quickly get a sense of what it takes to scale an innovation in a particular context. Users appreciate the importance of context around an innovation and the implications this has for multi-disciplinary actions and collaboration, as well as the potential trade-offs related to the environment and social dynamics. A few updates:

  • In January this year the website was launched with all the necessary info and guidelines required to apply the tool alone or with your team. All materials are available in English, French and Spanish.
  • This summer, a rapid version (30 minute) and the standard version (3 hours up to 3 days) were made available in a gamified digital version that even works on your smartphone! It has  features that allow you to send a unique code to your teammates so that everyone works on the same scaling case. Also it gives you a standardized report – ready for use!
  • Last September the 3rd edition of the Scaling Scan was launched. This edition better integrates key considerations for social inclusion (to “leave no one behind”) and for environmental protection (to “do no harm”), and provides improved guidance on using the outputs to develop a scaling strategy. This was the result of an effective collaboration between research and development actors (FAO, CGIAR, SNV and GIZ).
  • A team of authors from CGIAR, Cornell University, SNV, CGIAR and Wageningen University submitted a manuscript on the learnings from almost 6 years of experience implementing Scaling Scan workshops. Apart from patterns in results, it includes an important discussion on the willingness and ability of users to follow up on the recommendations from the Scaling Scan. 

Contact:  Lennart Woltering 

Failure to scale in digital agronomy: An analysis of site-specific nutrient management decision-support tools in developing countries.

By Tesfaye Shiferaw Sida, Samuel Gameda, Jordan Chamberlin, Jens A. Andersson, Mezegebu Getnet, Lennart Woltering, Peter Craufurd. In Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, Volume 212, September 2023. 

This article notes that while many have extolled the potential impacts of digital advisory services for smallholder agriculture, the evidence for sustained uptake of such tools remains limited. The paper utilizes a survey of tool developers and researchers, as well as a systematic meta-analysis of prior studies, to assess the extent and challenges of scaling decision-support tools for site-specific soil nutrient management (SSNM-DST) across smallholder farming systems, where “scaling” is defined as a significant increase in tool usage beyond pilot levels. It draws on relevant literature, expert opinion and apps available in different repositories. Despite their acclaimed yield benefits, it finds that SSNM-DSTs have struggled to reach scale over the last few decades, with strong heterogeneity in adoption among intended stakeholders and tools. In general, the SSNM-DST have moved one step forward compared with the traditional ‘blanket’ fertilizer recommendation by accounting for in-field heterogeneities in soil and crop characteristics, but remained undifferentiated in terms of demographic and socioeconomic heterogeneities among users, which potentially constrains adoption at scale. It concludes that while the SSNM-DSTs can be labeled ‘ready’ from purely scientific viewpoints, their readiness for system-level uptake at scale remains limited, especially where socio-technical and institutional constraints are prevalent.

Contact: Lennart Woltering

Tufts University/USAID Feed the Future

Scaling Actions that Link Smallholder Food Production and Value Chains

This blog post provides a summary of the first Annual Partners Meeting of the Feed the Future Food Systems for Nutrition Innovation Lab (FSN-IL) at Tufts University, held in Boston, Massachusetts on July 27-28, 2023. In this meeting, the Lab, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), brought together its consortium of over 40 thought leaders and global experts to gather recommendations and insights to inform FSN-IL’s strategic thinking and approaches around scaling actions around food systems for nutrition. The meeting provided a forum for rich discussion on the future of scaling actions related to smallholder production systems and value chains to enhance the production of nutrient-rich foods, promote food safety, reduce post-harvest losses, and contribute to sustainable food systems.

Contact: Robin Shrestha,

Education Working Group

Center for Universal Education, The Brookings Institution

3 Myths about teacher agency and why they hold back scaling education innovations

In this blog, authors Brad Olsen and Maya Elliott note that as we mark the passing of another World Teachers’ Day, confronting a few myths about the role of teachers in scaling education innovations seems worthwhile. Addressing these misconceptions is important because underestimating or neglecting individual teacher agency—what it is and how it manifests in both positive and negative ways—is a key reason why many education innovations struggle to scale or are not sustained.

Eradicating these myths can lead to authentically engaging educators as active innovation partners during the development, implementation, and scaling of promising instructional innovations.

Contact: Tracy Olson

6 stories about scaling change throughout education systems

The authors of this blog note that creating and sustaining changes in education systems is often viewed as a technical process. Yet the work of education systems transformation is as much about changing mindsets and everyday ways of working as it is about technical fixes or policy prescriptions.

Over the past five years, the Real-time Scaling Labs (RTSL) project has been working with local partners around the world to investigate what it takes to scale impact in education. From scaling up a life skills program in Tanzania, to remedial education approaches in Botswana and Cote d’Ivoire, to financial education classes in Jordan, to teacher professional development in the Philippines and early childhood development the Middle East, the experiences of the these six RTSLs offer rich insights into the range of factors and approaches needed to create lasting change in an education system. The analyses and case studies conclude that scaling efforts often focus too narrowly on technical elements and easily measurable neglecting the human dimension and the importance of incorporating lessons learned along the way. This runs the risk of leaving out all of the complex interactions, choices, and adaptations that have to be managed and that take place among diverse stakeholders in order to truly expand and deepen impact in a sustainable way. To understand what has been achieved and how, these studies suggest that scaling teams need to make visible these steps along the way, and consider what doors they’ve unlocked that might offer new opportunities.  The stories, available on the Brookings website highlight the complex and iterative human dimensions of scaling in hopes of expanding the field’s conception of what it takes to truly transform education systems in sustainable ways.

Contact: Tracy Olson

How to scale your innovation: Lessons from Research on Scaling the Impact of Innovations in Education (ROSIE) 

The event presented Lessons from research on Scaling the Impact of Innovations in Education (ROSIE). Interest in scaling impactful educational innovations globally has grown over the past decade. However, effective scaling is not merely about introducing promising ideas through design and delivery. It is also about thoughtfully integrating these promising innovations in diverse ways to ensure their growth, depth, and sustained impact. In 2020, to enhance understanding of effective scaling, the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution joined the Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX), which is a joint endeavor between the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). This initiative paved the way for a cross-national, multi-team, and design-based research and professional support initiative called Research on Scaling the Impact of Innovations in Education (ROSIE) bringing together researchers and practitioners to collaboratively study, support, and localize the process of scaling education initiatives. On November 14, 2023, CUE hosted an online event to illuminate the latest findings about scaling in education. This event highlighted the contributions of ROSIE-KIX teams and introduce the project to new stakeholders. More than just discussing “scaling impact in education systems,” the event challenged conventional perspectives and underscored the significance of timely collaborations and harnessing system-level dynamics. Through panel discussions and presentations, CUE presented pivotal insights based on three years of the ROSIE teams’ extensive research and scaling efforts.

Contact: Tracy Olson

Reflections on The Messy Middle of Scaling Education Innovations

The authors of this blog argue that the process of scaling up education innovations needs greater attention from practitioners and researchers interested in education transformation. Without meaningful scaling of improved practices, it will be impossible to achieve the SDG 4 goals related to attaining inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. To this end, promising education initiatives are crucial as they aim to improve the relevance and quality of education and to enhance the accessibility and parity of learning opportunities. These innovations are often based on important advances in pedagogical sciences and include new approaches that leverage teacher experiences and new technologies. Identifying and supporting the global scaling of these promising innovative ideas is therefore a worthy endeavor – an inspired mission that education stakeholders such as HundrED have embraced.

Contact: Fares Khalil, Crystal Green

The Messy Middle – a recent exploration on the scalability challenges of education innovations

A recent positioning paper by HundrED – a mission-driven organization dedicated to helping

every child flourish by supporting impactful and scalable education innovations – has placed the

focus on the pivotal and transitional phase where proven education innovations face the realities

of integrating into existing classrooms, schools, and systems. “The Messy Middle” report defines

this important scaling stage as situated between the pilot phase and institutionalization. And

while recognizing that each implementation journey is unique and highly contextual, the report

highlights common themes through an exploration of five cases from HundrED’s

community and network in the education innovation space. Among the identified themes is the

frequent tension between innovation designers and implementers when it comes to distinguishing

the elements of an innovation that are core to its success and those that may be altered or stripped

away. This report helps illuminate these challenges and offers many insights that may help

practitioners and researchers approach innovation implementation in a more realistic and

effective manner. It is part of the newly launched HundrED Implementation Center.

Contact: Crystal Green

Teaching at the Right Level

Scaling up of TaRL Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa

Since TaRL Africa’s inception, over five million children in over 17,000 schools have received the TaRL programming. This programming is delivered and supported by governments and organizations in 13 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Across different contexts and models, TaRL programs continue to improve children’s foundational learning including improvements of 14-37 percentage points in children’s reading and math skills.

In Côte d’Ivoire, TaRL Africa supported the government to integrate Program d’Enseignement Ciblé (PEC), Côte d’Ivoire’s TaRL program, into their updated primary education strategy. PEC will be implemented in more than 1,500 schools in Côte d’Ivoire this year. In 2022/23 in Nigeria, TaRL was implemented in more than 1700 schools, reaching more than 440,000 children through government-led programming with support from partners. In Zambia, Catch Up, the Ministry of Education’s TaRL program, is active in over half (8 out of 10 provinces) of Zambia’s schools and achieving consistently good learning outcomes with clear plans to scale. TaRL Africa, UNICEF, and VVOB are collaboratively supporting the government to navigate the transition from scaling up to institutionalizing TaRL. 

TaRL Africa and partners hosted a webinar on December 4, 2023 to unpack the Language Learning from Familiar to Formal (L2F2) methodology and the lessons learned from the implementation of the methodology in Sub-Saharan Africa with examples from Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria. The webinar aimed to build cross-country knowledge exchange and create an appetite for the methodology to help children learn English. For more information on TARL:

Contact: Ashleigh Morrell

University of Cape Town/Global Parenting Initiative (Education)

Global Parenting Initiative hosts successful scaling lab in Tanzania

The scaling lab workshop took place from 25 to 28 July 2023, at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) Campus in Dar Es Salaam. The event was attended by the core internal GPI scaling team; implementation partners from Parenting for Lifelong Health, Clowns Without Borders South Africa (CWBSA); Investing in Children and their Societies (ICS); NIMR; representatives from the Tanzanian Ministry of Community Development, Gender, and Children; and representatives from the Ministries of Home Affairs and of Education, the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Pact, Transforming Lives, and Plan International. Saara Thakur led the discussions with a key focus on gathering diverse perspectives and insights to create a strategic roadmap for scaling up the project effectively.

Contact: Maggie Marx; Saara Thakur 

Health Working Group

ExpandNet/Partners in Expanding Health Quality and Access 

Transforming the private health system in Nigeria with the IntegratE project

On October 26, a three-member team of ExpandNet facilitators provided a day-long scaling up planning

workshop for the IntegratE project in Abuja, Nigeria, as part of ongoing technical support to the project.

IntegratE (2021-2026), funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and led by the Society of

Family Health, collaborates closely with the Federal government’s Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) to

enhance the quality of family planning and primary healthcare services delivered by community

pharmacists and proprietary patent medicine vendors (PPMVs), while also establishing an enabling

environment for sustained services. PPMVs and pharmacists serve as the first “port of call” for primary

health care for many Nigerians, despite not being formally recognized as part of the health system. The

IntegratE project is piloting and evaluating the scalability of a three-tiered accreditation model for

PPMVs based on their healthcare qualifications. The project also focuses on building the capacity of

pharmacists and PPMVs to deliver enhanced primary health services. To date, the project has

successfully supported a broadening of the national policy of task-sharing and task-shifting to select local government areas in 11 states across Nigeria. The October scaling workshop provided an opportunity to examine critical assumptions in IntegratE’s theory of change and

identified potential drivers and risks relevant to the project’s scale-up ambitions. The

workshop also allowed the implementation team to explore strategies to enhance scalability of

interventions and adjustments to advance long-term national scale-up of the

accreditation model. The project’s ultimate goal is to set the government well along on a path toward scaling up the model across all 36 states by the end of the project in 2026.

Contact: Laura Ghiron

Bringing scaling up coursework to public health pre-service training in Pakistan

In September, Pakistan-based ExpandNet Secretariat member Dr. Haris Ahmed worked with two new

ExpandNet members to deliver a scaling up workshop for Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH)

students of the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute for Science and Technology (SZABIST) University in

Karachi. Dr. Haris and colleagues are working with the faculty and administration of the university to

establish an ongoing course that can be offered repeatedly over time as part of the offered curricula. Dr.

Haris has similarly been working with the Health Services Academy in Islamabad to institutionalize

capacity to offer a scaling up course module for their MSPH students which often includes medical doctors, technicians, and senior-level government officials. Both courses focus on scale-up fundamentals and address how attention to scale-up can be embedded in thesis research projects to ensure that students are testing viable approaches that have promise of reaching large numbers of people.  

Contact: Laura Ghiron

Population Services International (PSI)

Transitioning from Implementer to TA Provider: The Tensions and Benefits of a Necessary Approach to Scale-up through Public Sector Institutions

It is imperative that the development community move beyond boutique, unscalable program designs towards sustainable scale-up of promising interventions, particularly through the public sector. The transition from direct project implementer to technical assistance (TA) provider, capacitating the government and system to own and be accountable for implementation, is a necessary approach to achieving sustainable scale. Yet, this transition brings with it critical tensions and considerations. In this blog, the authors reflect on their own experience in making this transition and provide lessons for the scaling-up community. Under the Adolescents 360 investment (2016-2020), PSI Ethiopia pursued the design and proof of concept for an adolescent sexual and reproductive health intervention,

Smart Start, which supports married adolescent girls ages 15-19 in rural areas of Ethiopia to understand the utility of contraception in pursuing their life goals and to access quality, adolescent-friendly contraceptive service delivery. In a follow-on investment, the Roadmap for Integrating Smart Start in Ethiopia (RISE), the FMOH is leading, with technical support from PSI, the institutionalization and scale of Smart Start to 465 woredas across the agrarian regions in Ethiopia, around 50% of all woredas nationally. The overarching goal of RISE is a reduction in teenage pregnancy in Ethiopia, a key priority for the MOH. In the initial stages of the RISE investment, the FMOH incorporated Smart Start as a gold standard approach for serving married adolescents in key policy documents and health worker training materials, including the Integrated Refresher Training (IRT) for Health Extension Workers (HEWs). The FMOH then mobilized $6m+ to roll out the IRT inclusive of Smart Start to 26,000 HEWs, deploying them to their communities to support married adolescent girls with SRH services. Since mid-2021, Smart Start has supported nearly 300,000 girls to take up a method of contraception for the first time. RISE’s TA to strengthen the system has now covered 7,450 health posts across 310 woredas in Ethiopia.

Contact: Meghan Cutherell

Mainstreaming Working Group

Case Studies for the Initiative on Mainstreaming Scaling in Funder Organizations

Four case studies under this initiative by the Scaling Community of Practice (CoP) have now been published on the CoP website: Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), HarvestPlus, and the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB).  A total of 15 case studies will be finalized and posted on the CoP’s website by the end of the year with a document summarizing the findings and lessons learned from these case studies published in early 2024 and rolled out at the CoP’s Annual Workshop in March of 2024.

Contact: Richard Kohl 

Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group

Innovation for Poverty Action (IPA)

Best Bets: Emerging Opportunities for Impact at Scale

Over the past two decades, there has been a remarkable increase in the generation of evidence to improve the lives of people living in poverty. Yet, the number of evidence-based programs operating at scale remains relatively limited, addressing only a fraction of the challenges faced by vulnerable populations. Having evaluated hundreds of approaches, IPA considers itself well-positioned to identify new interventions that have the potential to be transformative but require additional investment to advance along the path to scalability. In the IPA report “Best Bets: Emerging Opportunities for Impact at Scale” a panel of experts, including IPA’s sectoral experts and scientific advisors, identifies promising innovations in development with the high potential to operate at scale. The report offers valuable insights into innovative solutions that hold significant promise for driving positive change and impact in the development sector. An accompanying blog highlights 14 innovations that IPA’s experts believe offer the most opportunity for transformative investment to catalyze impact.

Contact: Karla Petersen

Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA)

Understanding the Gaps to Lay Stronger Foundations: Appraising Scaling Data Indicators in Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda

This second RISA insights report summarizes the results of a comprehensive data supply audit relating to the scaling of private enterprise in Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda. It can be read by clicking here.  This audit aimed to uncover data supply and availability pertaining to scaling ventures in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. It focuses on two categories of problem: (i) contextual barriers such as the high proportion of low-growth micro or small enterprises; and (ii) data challenges including  a scarcity of formal quantitative research, limited availability of public data on scalability metrics and firm capability dynamics, and a lack of longitudinal research on growth factors.  It also noted significant  limitations and challenges in evaluating ecosystem interventions. In conclusion, the report stresses the importance of shifting focus to understand “how” and “why” ventures scale rather than relying solely on investment data or other data documenting rates of growth. The report includes five actionable recommendations: (a) enhanced coordination among public agencies at national and international levels to enhance efficiency and reduce duplication; (b) increased academic research targeting scaling and high-growth firms, including longitudinal case studies; (c) the adoption of scale diagnostics (at venture and ISO levels) to assess organizational dynamics and identify growth impediments; (d) combining scaling data and  impact reporting; and (e) fostering a dissemination ecosystem knowledge for a nuanced evaluation of growth processes.

Contact: Lydiah Zachary

Social Enterprise Working Group

CASE (Duke University)

CASE recently announced that the F.M. Kirby Prize for Scaling Social Impact is expanding to award $150,000 to an enterprise ready to scale in meaningful ways. Phase 1 applications for the 2024 prize will be open November 2023 through early January 2024, and this year’s winner will be funded in late Spring 2024. Share your contact information here to stay apprised of the detailed application process and timeline. Learn more about the F.M. Kirby Prize.


Scaling across borders: Good practices & challenges to achieve the SDGs

Scaling across borders is not an easy process for social entrepreneurs, especially when they are already embarked on a scaling journey in their own country. Before going on a scaling journey, social innovators need to ask themselves why they wish to scale and when is the right time to do so.  When you wish to scale internationally, it usually entails new challenges as you can rarely adopt the same model as the one in your local area. Indeed, it is not uncommon to have different strategies on different geographical levels. In this event, ScaleChanger asked three social entrepreneurs (in France and Senegal) and one Foundation supporting social enterprises in amplifying their impact to share their experience, good practices, and challenges. 

Contact: Gloria Ba


Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

CRS has developed a Scale 101 e-learning course now available in English for non-CRS organizations. The course targets individuals and organizations that are interested in understanding how to break out of traditional paradigms and what it means to be a catalyst in addition to an implementer. With lessons that use case studies from CRS’ work around the world, the course covers scaling terminology and definitions; processes and strategies; and offers additional resources for further learning and use. The course enables participants to: 1) understand what CRS means by “Catalyzing Humanitarian and Development Outcomes at Scale” and how this differs from other definitions of scale; 2) describe the main scaling processes and scaling strategies that CRS uses to catalyze outcomes at scale; and 3) know where to access additional resources to help them become catalysts for transformational change at scale. While the course is CRS-focused, it could be helpful to any organization thinking about its role in scaling. The course will soon be available to non-CRS organizations in French, Spanish and Arabic.

Contact: Rudy Blackwell 


Scaling up Development Impact

This book by Isabel Guererro, Siddhant Gokhale, and Jossie Fahsbender offers an analytical framework, a set of practical tools, and adaptive evaluation techniques to accompany the scaling process. It presents rich organizational experiences that showcase real-world journeys toward increased impact. Renowned Harvard Professor Dani Roderik had this to say about the book: “Development economists have come up with powerful techniques to evaluate whether poverty-reduction programs work. But we lack comparable knowledge on how to scale up small interventions and experimental policies. This wonderful book provides development practitioners with a broad set of tools to scale up interventions in a dynamic, iterative fashion, generating new evidence about what works in the process.” The book can be ordered from Amazon


Ending extreme poverty is within reach. We can’t give up

In their opinion piece, Shameran Abed of BRAC and Esther Duflo of JPAL argue that extreme poverty cannot be eradicated by relying on piecemeal development programming limited to the particular whims of different donors. Real progress on the 2030 Agenda requires a massive, concerted push to scale solutions that work.

Throwing Good Money after Good

Ester Duflo and Michael Kremer in their contribution to Project Syndicate conclude that the experience with the Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) at the US Agency for International Development and with the Fund for Innovation in Development (FID) at Agence Française de Développement shows that at a time when aid budgets are under renewed pressure, one way to maximize the impact of spending is through open, tiered, evidence-based social innovation funds like DIV and FID. The evidence suggests that such funds can deliver outsized returns on investment and avoid throwing good money after bad. By identifying, testing, and rapidly scaling up the most promising innovations, they provide a powerful tool for reducing global poverty and achieving other socially desirable goals. 

Scaling Community of Practice (CoP)

Localization and Scaling: Two Movements and a Nexus

In their article, Larry Cooley and Johannes Linn argue that localization and scaling approaches are linked and mutually reinforcing in achieving sustainable development impact at scale.

Scaling Up the Impact of Development Programs Must Complement Other Approaches to Achieve the SDGs and Climate Goals

The international community risks falling substantially short in its efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement climate targets by 2030. Efforts to reach these goals have focused on raising more financial resources, on tracking progress, on stimulating policy reform at national and local levels, and on innovation. In this article, Johannes Linn reviews these approaches and concludes that they are indeed necessary, but not sufficient, since they do not include a focus on systematically scaling successful development and climate projects and programs aimed at achieving the SDGs and climate targets. The article goes on to present a tested approach to scaling and an example of its application in four countries. Key elements of effective scaling include (1) the identification of a clear vision of scale and a scale target that can be linked quantitatively and strategically to the SDGs and climate targets; and (2) programs and projects that are systematically designed and implemented to reflect a scaling pathway explicitly linked with these targets.  The paper argues that these features are, to date, rarely evidenced in the literature or in practice and that they are essential if increased funding, policy reform, and innovation are to have the intended impact.  

A concerted push to achieve the SDGs needs a practical scaling approach

Erik Engberg and Johannes Linn argue in this blog that the common approaches to progress monitoring, financing and innovation are not sufficient to achieve the SDGs and that a pragmatic and systematic approach pursuing sustainable impact at scale through investment and policy reform is essential. Country platforms and multi-phase project approaches offer practical ways to support systematic scaling. 

Contact: Johannes Linn

University of California, Davis

Looking for a way to be more gender and socially responsive in your scaling activities?! 

GenderUp is a conversational method that supports innovation teams to scale agricultural innovations in a gender responsible and socially inclusive way. This month, GenderUp released its easier to use website where you can learn more about the benefits of the GenderUp tool, workshop content, and other scaling resources. In October, the GenderUp team trained 21 new facilitators from the CGIAR, USAID, and other AR4D organizations in New Delhi. If you are interested in becoming a trained GenderUp facilitator or using GenderUp to enhance the scaling of your innovation, please reach out to the GenderUp team

Contact: Erin McGuire,


Other Publications

Self-Sustained “Scaling Hubs” for Agricultural Technologies: Definition of Concepts, Protocols, and Implementation Self-Sustained “Scaling Hubs” for Agricultural Technologies and Implementation MANUAL  By Aymen Frija and Zied Idoudi. December 2020.

A car mechanic’s invention to deliver babies is finally coming to market. By Catherine Cheney, October 2023

The coordinates of scaling: Facilitating inclusive innovation. Ana María Sánchez Rodríguez et al., June 2021

Reflections from International Education Funders Group Conference on systems change philanthropy. By Abe Grindle, June 2023 


Working Groups of the Scaling Up Community of Practice

The CoP hosts ten working groups (WGs). The names and e-mail addresses of the chairpersons are listed below. For more information on each working group and on how to join and contribute to a working group, please visit the CoP Website ( or contact the respective chairperson(s). 

Agriculture & Rural Development (ARD) Working Group 

Lennart Woltering (CIMMYT) 

Maria Boa (CIMMYT) 

Frank Place (IFPRI) 

Mark Huisenga (USAID) 

Julie Howard (CSIS)

Climate Change Working Group 

Johannes Linn (Brookings) (Acting)

Education Working Group 

Heather Simpson (Room to Read) 

Lisa Slifer-Mbacke (MSI) 

Nedjma Koval (INTEGRATED)

Fragile States Working Group

Jonathan Papoulidis (World Vision)

Pallavi Roy (SOAS, University of London)

Robert S Chase (World Bank)

Health Working Group

Laura J. Ghiron (ExpandNet and the Evidence to Action Project) 

Mojisola Odeku (Gates Foundation)

Mainstreaming Working Group 

Richard Kohl (Strategy & Scale LLC)

Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Working Group 

Larry Cooley (MSI) 

Rachna Nag Choudhuri 

John Floretta (J-PAL) 

Jobin Thomas (STIR Education)

Nutrition Scaling Working Group 

Johannes Linn (Brookings) (Acting)

Social Enterprise Scaling Up Working Group 

Isabel Guerrero (IMAGO) 

Colin Christensen (One Acre Fund)

Youth Employment Working Group 

Elizabeth Vance (International Youth Foundation, IYF) 

Hisham Jabi (Jabi Consulting) 


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