The international development community wants to build on successful innovations being done throughout the world. In order to do this, donors and agencies will need to learn from their innovations and scale them in systematic ways. A new paper features two scaling-up frameworks that will help this process be efficient and successful.
MSI’s founder and President Larry Cooley and Johannes Linn from the Brookings Institute and Emerging Market Forum wrote the paper “Taking Innovations to Scale: Methods, Applications and Lessons.” The paper addresses MSI’s Scaling Up Framework and International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) framework.
Along with describing these two frameworks, the authors come to a consensus that they are complementary. MSI’s scaling-up process guides organizations through specific tasks to design and implement scaling-up strategies and pathways. IFAD’s method centers on high-level policy and institutional analysis.
The authors found common principles in the two processes, which include:
- Projects are considered building blocks or steps along the scaling-up pathway.
- Learning and scaling up must be in the design from the start.
- Intermediary organizations are very important in the scaling up process.
The lessons learned compiles together an informative list that any designer or implementer of scaling up should know and reference. They emphasize that “innovation, learning and scaling up should be treated as separate, linked processes.” In the lessons learned section, the authors give clear direction on other topics like the link between innovation and scale, roles and responsibilities of scaling-up actors, and designing and managing for scale.
Our scaling-up work started more than 12 years ago. It continues today working with longtime partners like the Population Foundation of India and new clients like USAID’s Global Development Lab.