News of the Scaling Up Community of Practice

Sectoral and Thematic Working Groups Update

There has been progress in organizing working groups on selected topics that were targeted for exploration at our CoP launch event in February 2015. Below is a summary of the initiatives currently under-way. If you would like to join one or more of these working groups, please contact the lead organizers. We will be exploring other topics in the future based on interest from CoP members, including the topic of social enterprise innovation.

Working group topicLead organizer/contactBrief description
Scaling up in educationMolly Eberhardt (R4D)

Caitlin Moss (R4D)
Based on a survey of Working Group (WG) members’ interests organized by the Group’s secretariat (R4D), the Education Working Group will serve two functions: (1) to facilitate information- and resource-sharing by synthesizing best practices, gaps in knowledge and research, and case studies; and (2) to serve as a forum for members to identify partnership opportunities and seek feedback from each other on scale-up efforts in education. The group took the first steps toward these goals by compiling and sharing an initial list of resources related to scaling up in education. The Education Working Group is currently in the process of identifying discussion topics for its first quarterly phone call, which will be held in early 2016.
Scaling up in fragile statesLarry Cooley (MSI)

Jonathan Papoulidis (World Vision)
World Vision and MSI are preparing a paper on this topic to be provided in draft form to the Working Group as grist for initial discussion about the special considerations involved in scaling up in Fragile States. That paper is expected to be ready in early 2016.
Scaling up in agriculture and rural development (ARD)Maria Elena Mangiafico (IFAD)
Members of the working group met in November by phone at the invitation of the secretariat (IFAD). They discussed (a) a brief by IFAD on its work on scaling up in ARD, (b) the design of a Web-based platform for information exchange, and (c) how to expand membership of the working group. Participants agreed: (i) to prepare short summaries of their activities/engagement in scaling up ARD for the forthcoming meetings of the WG, (ii) to provide comments on the platform, and (iii) to upload relevant material once the Web platform is ready. The next virtual meeting will be scheduled for January. Participants agreed that it would be useful to organize an in-person meeting sometime in the foreseeable future (possibly next spring).
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for scaling upLarry Cooley (MSI)

Fred Mills (MSI)
In response to a brief survey circulated by the secretariat (MSI) WG members opted for a substantive conference call every two or three months; an annual face-to- face meeting timed to coincide with the annual CoP event or another international event; and regular exchange of materials. The first conference call will take place on January 14th at 3pm EST.  This call will focus on methodologies and tools for incorporating assessment of scalability into the evaluation of pilot projects.

Member News

Brookings (Education and health)

The Center for Universal Education’s (CUE) Millions Learning project seeks to better understand how programs and policies for improved learning have gone to scale. Drawing from case studies, consultations, and additional evidence from low- and middle-income countries around the world, Millions Learning is producing a report that will offer key lessons and insight for a range of actors working to expand quality learning opportunities—in particular, policymakers, implementers, and funders. CUE would welcome members of the Scaling Up CoP to review a draft report in early February 2016 as well as attend the official launch during the annual Center for Universal Education Symposium on April 18-19, 2016 in Washington, DC. This will be followed by regional launches over the following months. While the case studies explored will be discussed in the final Millions Learning report, they will be officially released in a standalone volume in summer 2016.

Contact: Jenny Perlman Robinson,

The Ending Rural Hunger Project

The Ending Rural Hunger project (https://endingruralhunger. org), initiated by the Global Economy and Development Program of Brookings and drawing on inputs from over 120 collaborators, is a first attempt at providing a tool to review and follow-up on Sustainable Development Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. The project gathers and curates the data necessary to review and follow-up on a key aspect and specific targets of SDG2. The link to scaling up is that this study and its related data management effort help establish and track the achievement of meaningful scale targets for policies and programs designed to fight hunger at scale. Contact Homi Kharas (

Contact: Homi Kharas ,

IFAD (Agriculture and Rural Development)

As part of IFAD’s commitment to increase the impact of investments, scaling up is seen as an overarching priority which directly supports the achievement of its mandate to be pursued in each of the main lines of business and country contexts in which the Fund operates. In order to step up to this challenge, IFAD will continue to institutionalize a systematic approach to scaling up results. Building on the work already done in partnership with the Brookings Institution, it has developed a new series of a guidance tools that include country scaling up notes, thematic scaling up notes and a new operational framework.

  • The Operational Framework provides guidance to IFAD country teams on how to mainstream scaling up approaches into operations. It examines the main steps in the project cycle and provides guidance on how to think through scaling-up in IFAD operations and in particular contexts. The framework is aimed at complementing, not substituting, IFAD’s policies and procedures.
  • The nine thematic scaling up notes prepared on Smallholder organizations, Rural finance, Agriculture value chains, Land tenure, Agricultural water management, Smallholder livestock, Climate change, Gender and Nutrition-sensitive agriculture (all can be found on are meant to illustrate how scaling up approaches may need to be tailored to different lines of businesses. The notes provide guidance in answering the questions: i) what is to be scaled up and are there successful models, ii) what are the scaling up pathways that can be built through our main instruments, iii) what are the key drivers and the “spaces” needed for scaling up to take place, and iv) what are the M&E tools needed.
  • The ten country notes illustrate how a scaling up approach can be adapted to different country perspectives. They look at the local context and at past interventions in terms of what has worked, but mostly look ahead with a vision of supporting the pathways and the “drivers” that will bring about results at a larger scale. Country notes have been prepared for Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Peru, Sudan (all can be found on

Contact: Maria Elena Mangiafico,

(Early learning; Agriculture)

At the end of 2014, the Hewlett Foundation commissioned MSI to conduct a mid-term evaluation assessing the implementation of the Early Learning Innovation Fund. The Fund sought to: promote promising approaches to improve children’s learning; strengthen the capacity of organizations implementing those approaches; strengthen those organizations’ networks and ownership; and grow 20 percent of implementing organizations into significant players in the education sector. The Fund directly supported intermediary support organizations (ISOs) which in turn supported community-based organizations in Tanzania, and early learning and childhood development organizations in Tanzania, Senegal, Uganda, Kenya, and Mali. The evaluation explores the extent to which the Fund supported successful scaling and it is intended to inform the Hewlett Foundation and other donors interested in supporting ISOs, early learning innovations and the expansion of innovations.  See a summary of the report here.

MSI is supporting USAID’s Bureau for Food Security to study cases of successful scaling up of agricultural innovations in developing countries.  The research is focusing on cases where commercial actors and pathways played an important role in the scaling of the innovation, and where the introduction of the innovation was supported by USAID or other donor or government agencies.  The overall objective is to provide lessons and help develop guidance that will inform how USAID can successfully contribute to commercial scaling.  The approach developed for conducting these case studies is grounded in the “spaces, drivers, and pathways” work of Hartmann and Linn, MSI’s own scaling up work by Cooley and Kohl, and the diffusion of innovation literature more generally. Each case study will draw on secondary data, in-country key informant interviews, group discussions, and direct observations, including a structured survey of smallholder farmer.  Comparative analysis will then be conducted across cases to reveal common elements that have contributed to the widespread adoption of the innovations examined, as well as differences arising from the varied circumstances under which scaling occurred for each technology.

Contact: Larry Cooley,

Results for Development Institute (R4D) (Education; Health; Scaling innovation)

UNICEF and R4D have been teaming up to facilitate the scale-up of innovations in global education by identifying promising models and supporting their improvement and diffusion. The partnership collects and shares evidence on the effectiveness of selected innovations in an effort to help the global education community better identify interventions that work.

Contact: Mark Roland,

As part of R4D’s Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI) and supported by the BMGF Small Grants Fund, in August 2015 R4D launched the following two projects:

  • Adapting Primary Care Business Models: CHMI is developing a collaborative peer-learning environment where identified promising innovators in primary care share core components of their business models for adaptation in new geographies. CHMI will support the adaptation process as program managers open their playbook with other primary care organizations in the network. As a part of this activity CHMI will document and disseminate these practices and the adaptation process through an adaptation knowledge product.
  • Learn and Launch: During the course of CHMI’s two years of successful implementation of Learning Exchanges, program managers have often identified core operational challenges (i.e., recruitment and retaining talented staff, implementing health management information systems, managing supply chains, or marketing efforts to reach bottom of the pyramid consumers), but they lack the time and resources—both financial and operational—to take risks and iterate on their models. The goal of this activity is to create two mini-learning collaboratives targeting operational program challenges, to allow programs to brainstorm, share, and jointly test how to address these challenges by testing potential active ingredients for actionable solutions across health sectors. CHMI predicts that this activity will result in (1) a list of promising solutions to key operational challenges that prevent innovations from growing their models; (2) successful adoption of those promising practices within new programs and (3) dissemination of those practices through an adaptation knowledge product.

R4D is serving as the secretariat for the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA), a partnership of 12 international development organizations formed in 2015 with the goal of actively promoting and effectively advancing innovation as a means to help achieve sustainable development through a) sharing knowledge, experience and insights, b) identifying and addressing gaps in the innovation ecosystem, and c) collaborating to develop public goods that support innovation, including pooling resources as appropriate. In pursuit of its objectives, IDIA has established Working Groups with mandates around specific issues and goals aligned with its mission, including a working group around “Scaling Innovation” established In September 2015. The working group convened a scoping meeting in November, during which the following activities were identified, to be further refined in discussion with group members: 1) a brief conceptual paper on defining innovation and scaling, 2) a high-level ‘Scaling Innovation Map’ capturing member agency approaches, resources and priorities across the key stages of the innovation pipeline from initial idea generation and selection all the way through to industry scaling, market shaping and ecosystem building, and 3) an aspirational ‘Innovation Ecosystem Map’ capturing the desired components of what a sustainable, domestically-driven environment for scaling innovation might look like at the country/regional level.

Save the Children (Scaling up innovations; Maternal and child health; Literacy)

Save the Children (STC) undertook a review of its effort at advancing innovations through its innovation pipeline toward scale, a key component of its 2013-15 strategic plan. This review sought to identify successes and challenges in STC’s approach to nurturing innovations, and to make recommendations to inform its strategic directions and investment decisions in the coming strategy period. The review explored two key learning questions: 1) How effective has STC’s innovation process been in moving innovations through the pipeline? and 2) What process improvements could help STC to better accelerate impact at scale for children? The review consisted of a staff survey, a document review by Johannes Linn, and a concluding workshop held Aug 31-Sept 1. The review produced the following key conclusions and recommendations:  1) Scaling innovations is vital to achieving STCs’ mission; 2) the innovation pipeline fostered discipline and learning; 3) it is important to be deliberate about priorities and investment choices to move our innovations through the four stages; a) development, b) pilot, c) ready to scale, and d) at scale, and 4) dedicated staff—technical owners and M&E staff—are key to driving learning.

Contact: Muluemebet Chekol,

Malawi has been systematically scaling up Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) services since the intervention was first introduced in 1999. In 2005 KMC for preterm and low-birth weight (LBW) babies became national policy, and by 2011 KMC was reportedly established in all central- and district-level hospitals as well as several first-level health facilities. Save the Children supported the Malawi Reproductive Health Directorate and Central Monitoring and Evaluation Department (CMED) to develop and pilot a simplified, user-friendly national KMC register and reporting tool designed to generate a set of core indicators for tracking KMC implementation and making clinical and management decisions to improve the quality of KMC services in Malawi.

To learn more about the steps Save the Children has taken to develop, pilot, and roll-out a national routine reporting system for facility-based KMC in Malawi, read the full report at http://www.

Contact: Catherine (Kate) Howell,

STC is leveraging the experience it has gained through program implementation to engage public, private and civil society actors in the common cause of strengthening reading programs and the culture of reading in their countries. STC calls these “ripples.”  In June 2015, STC conducted a survey of its reading programs to better understand and document these areas of influence on a sample of the ripples that STC’s literacy programs are making.  In the 21 country programs included in the survey, more than 43 different ripples were identified. Please read the full story here.  Some were fully realized, whereas others were more nascent. In order to monitor this ripple effects in a more systematic way, STC is developing a Literacy Readiness to Scale tool that will help program teams analyze the local policy and partnership context in order to identify opportunities to leverage its vast implementation experience across a wide range of actors, and to create stronger national and local cultures of reading.

Contact: Eric Eversmann,

USAID (Agriculture)

USAID’s Feed the Future program announced that its Partnering for Innovation initiative has been extended through September 2018, adding an additional year to the program. This extension will allow Partnering for Innovation to develop public private partnerships with current and additional USAID Missions and ensure sustainable results. The extra year will help Feed the Future provide additional in-depth business support for its partners and will allow it to more thoroughly assess the program’s lessons learned and how these lessons can inform future development programs. Through this increased partner engagement and opportunity to capture learning, Partnering for Innovation will continue to build partnerships that benefit smallholder farmers and businesses alike. For more information, see:

Contact: Maria Gozalez de Asis,

World Bank (Delivery challenges; Social enterprise innovation)

The World Bank’s Global Delivery Initiative (GDI) issued revised guidelines for its case studies on implementation of development programs around the globe. These guidelines now include explicit reference to, and guidance for assessing implementation with a scaling up lens. The guidelines can be found here, and general description of GDI’s work here.

Contact: Maria Gonzales de Asis, mgonzalezasis@worldbank. org

The World Bank Group’s Social Enterprise Innovations Unit focuses on improving service delivery outcomes by identifying, supporting, and scaling social enterprise innovations (SEI), including with the following three initiatives: (a) The team has launched two SEI ecosystem diagnoses – one on East and Southern Africa, and another on the South Asia region – in order to analyze the key enabling environment challenges and opportunities for scaling social enterprises focused on services delivery to the BoP; and developed 26 stylized Business Model Innovations that are utilized by social enterprises and 63 profiles of social enterprises across the world. The analysis draws on the Social Enterprise Knowledge Hub, a database of 260 social enterprises that successfully implemented and scaled innovations in five sectors (health water and sanitation, education, energy, and financial inclusion. The Knowledge Hub and all related analytical work will be available for the public in March 2016 at (b) The team launched its third installment of its eLearning course for social enterprises in November, focused on social enterprise working primarily in health. There will be another installment, open to all sectoral social enterprises, that will be launched in February on the World Bank Group’s new online learning portal, the Open Learning Campus. The team has also piloted a webinar series. (c) In order to ensure that policy makers are properly informed to work with and scale social enterprise innovations, the team, in collaboration with IMAGO Global Grassroots, has developed a course that connects social enterprises and policymakers by helping them to understand each other’s perspective, appreciate the impact that can come from working together, and learn from best practices and policy instruments that could be useful in their individual country contexts. The course will be piloted this December in India and headed by Isabel Guerrero (founder of IMAGO and member of Scaling Up CoP), and again in the early spring of 2016.


Publications and Blogs

We list here some publications that have come across our desks and that we think you might be interested in.

They deal with scaling up successful development innovations across a wide range of topics. We have this time added a brief précis for each of the publications.

Mokoro Limited (2015). “Independent Comprehensive Evaluation of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement: Final Report.” wp-content/uploads/2015/05/SUN_ICE_FullReport-All(1-5-15).pdf

  • In mid-2014, the SUN Movement Lead Group commissioned an independent comprehensive evaluation of the SUN Movement to assess the value it adds to efforts to scale up nutrition. The evaluation identified a number of strengths and weaknesses of SUN’s efforts and makes recommendations to remedy shortcomes.

Molly Anders (2015): “Power of Nutrition: The $1 billion startup.” Devex blog.

  • A health worker in India uses a color-coded strip to measure a child’s upper arm as a way to check for undernutrition. Nutrition, despite its importance across sectors, is chronically underfunded. A new innovative financing facility called The Power of Nutrition aims to get private sector funding and use it to get matching funds from traditional donors.

Kevin McKague and Muhammad Siddiquee (2014). Making Markets More Inclusive: Lessons from CARE and the Future of Sustainability in Agricultural Value Chain Development. Palgrave.

  • This book bridges the management literature with original research on agricultural value chains in developing and emerging economies. Claims to be the first to delve into the skills, capabilities, strategies and approaches needed for inclusive value chain development. McKague shows how NGOs and companies can connect poor producers in developing economies with the right markets to better create social and economic impact. He also analyzes one of the leading agricultural value chain initiatives in the world, which is being replicated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in several different value chains in Malawi, Tanzania, Ghana, India, and Mali.

Westermann, P. Thornton, and W. Förch (2015). “Reaching more farmers – innovative approaches to scaling up climate smart agriculture.” CCAFS Working Paper no. 135. Copenhagen, Denmark: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). https://ccafs.

  • The purpose of this working paper is to provide insight into how we can use novel approaches to scale up research findings on climate-smart agriculture (CSA) to meaningfully address the challenges of poverty and climate change. The approaches described include those based on value chains and private sector involvement, policy engagement, and information and communication technologies and agro-advisory services. The paper draws on 11 case studies to exemplify these new approaches to scaling up. These are synthesized using a simple conceptual framework that draws on a review of the most important challenges to scaling up.

Arivudau Nambi Appadurai (2015). “Scaling Success: Lessons from Adaptation Pilots in the Rainfed Regions of India.” World Resources Institute. http://

  • Based on case studies of adaptation pilots in the rainfed regions of India, this WRI research report provides a diagnostic framework to help think about how to support scaling of adaptation projects. It provides ways to incorporate indicators of good practice, assess readiness to scale, design pathways of scaling and identify conditions that may affect the scaling process. It also suggests that scaling should start at the project design phase, and requires dedicated financial and human resources.

Syngenta Foundation (2015). “Scaling up smallholders’ adoption of technology.” Short report on a symposium organized by Syngenta foundation.

  • This symposium focused on how to scale up seed and other agricultural technologies. Aiming to promote practical, strategic, evidence-based thinking on how to scale, it involved a critical review of forces and mechanisms that appear to drive adoption of agricultural technology innovations, or fail to do so.

Jonathan Colton (2015). “Adoption, Diffusion, and Scaling of Agricultural Technologies in Developing Countries.” In Sustainable Agriculture Reviews, Volume 18, ed. Eric Lichtfouse. Springer Press.

  • This paper provides an introduction to the topics of the adoption, diffusion and scaling, with examples from agriculture. Relevant methods from the literature are reviewed to provide the reader with a general understanding of scaling and their application. Lessons for successful scaling up are drawn from theory and practice.

Roger L. Martin and Sally R. Osberg (2015). Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works. Harvard Business Review Press.

  • This book describes how social entrepreneurs target systems that exist in a stable but unjust equilibrium and transform them into entirely new, superior, and sustainable equilibria. All of these leaders develop, build, and scale their solutions in ways that bring about the truly revolutionary change that makes the world a fairer and better place.  The book sets forth a framework, demonstrating how and why meaningful change actually happens in the world and providing concrete lessons and a practical model for businesses, policymakers, civil society organizations, and individuals who seek to transform our world for good.

Neil Bird, Marcus Manuel and Smita Nakhooda (2015). “Scaling up international support for adaptation: productive safety nets and reimbursable debt service.” ODI Working Paper 427.

  • This report explores the potential for a two-part approach to accelerating disbursement of international climate finance to vulnerable countries. The first part considers scaling up a cost-effective adaptation response: support for productive safety nets, including for public work programs, especially those that focus on improving agriculture productivity. The second part assesses the extent to which reimbursable debt service payments could play a role in freeing up finance for such national programming. Either of these two elements could stand alone. However, this proposal suggests there is a substantial synergy to be captured by unlocking a new source of funding and scaling up a programmatic use of funds.

Colette Chabbot (2015). Institutionalizing Health and Education for All: Global Goals, Innovations, and Scaling Up.  Teachers College Press.

  • Provides in-depth case studies – and compares — scaling efforts related to oral rehydration therapy and non-formal primary education, focusing on organizational factors.  The book includes a detailed inventory of factors responsible for the respective successes and challenges experienced by these innovations.

Johannes F. Linn (2015),”Scaling-up in the Country Program Strategies of International Aid Agencies An Assessment of the African Development Bank’s Country Strategy Papers.” Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, September, vol. 7 no. 3, 236-256. content/7/3/236.abstract

  • This article reviews the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) country strategy papers (CSPs) from a scaling-up perspective. It concludes that the AfDB’s CSPs do not focus systematically on scaling up the impact of the projects and programs that the bank supports. This is not surprising, since the AfDB’s corporate strategy, policies, and processes do not explicitly focus on scaling up. However, the review also concludes that key elements of a scaling-up approach are found in the AfDB’s CSPs. If they were systematically applied across the board, AfDB could readily turn its CSPs into effective scaling-up strategies.


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