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Scaling Up An Introduction. Presentation in Washington, DC on May 8, 2013 Johannes F. Linn Emerging Markets Forum and Brookings [email protected] 1. Preamble: What’s in a word…?. Two meanings of “scaling up”: “increasing the amount of money” “taking successful programs to scale”

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Scaling up an introduction

Scaling Up An Introduction

Presentation in Washington, DC on May 8, 2013

Johannes F. Linn

Emerging Markets Forum and Brookings

[email protected]

[email protected]


Preamble what s in a word
Preamble:What’s in a word…?

Two meanings of “scaling up”:

  • “increasing the amount of money”

  • “taking successful programs to scale”

    Today we’re concerned with 2.

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What s the problem
What’s the problem?

Ambitious global development goals (MDGs, 1m rural poor, etc.), but…

  • Fragmentation of government and aid programs

  • Difficulties of coordination

  • Failure to “connect the dots”, i.e., to reap the benefits of scale through learning, replication and partnership

     need to scale up successful interventions

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Scaling up a general approach
Scaling up: a general approach

  • Define scaling up:

    • “Scaling up means expanding, replicating, adapting and sustaining successful policies, programs or projects in different places and over time to reach a greater number of people.” (Hartmann and Linn, 2008)

  • The key question: If some intervention works as a pilot, how do we take it to scale?

  • Or: How do we develop pathways from innovation to learning and scaling up beyond individual project?

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The pathway from innovation to learning and scaling up
The pathway from innovation to learning and scaling up



Scale up

New idea, model, approach





& KM







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The cycle of innovation learning and scaling up
The cycle of innovation, learning and scaling up

  • Innovation, learning and scaling up are separate, albeit linked processes.

  • They are generally complementary, but compete for resources.

  • Not every innovation can or should be scaled up.

  • Not every scaling up needs to involve an innovation.

  • The innovation-learning-scaling up cycle has no blue-print, is not linear or fixed –

    • but context-specific, iterative and flexible

    • but it helps having a framework and being systematic

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How to define pathways for scaling up
How to define pathways for scaling up

Need to go beyond individual projects and develop scaling up pathways over time:

  • Define the desired scale and time horizon (“beyond project”)

  • Define the intermediate steps and results (“for the project”)

  • Focus on “drivers” and “spaces” for scaling up (next slide)

  • Select the operational instruments/approaches

    • With own resources, or with partners (co-financing, hand-off, etc.)

    • Financing mechanisms

    • Institutional approaches

    • Implementation/management modalities

  • Monitor and evaluate

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Drivers and spaces define the pathways for scaling up
“Drivers” and “spaces” define the pathways for scaling up


  • Innovative ideas

  • Vision of scale

  • Leadership/champions

  • Stake holders

  • Market demand

  • External catalysts

  • Incentives and accountability

Spaces (Constraints)

  • Fiscal and financial resources

  • Organizational (institutional and human) resources

  • Policy

  • Political

  • Cultural

  • Partnerships

  • Learning (incl. M&E)

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Risks of inadequate consideration of key scaling up factors
Risks of inadequate consideration of key scaling up factors scaling up

  • Opportunities for scaling up may be missed (“Type 1 error”) or scaling up may be done badly (“Type 2 error”).

  • Failure to identify financial/policy/capacity/political constraints may limit the potential for scaling up later.

    • Not paying attention to costs may create “boutique” approaches that only work on a small scale.

    • Setting up special purpose entities (e.g., PIUs), rather than working through ministries, may limit institutional options later.

  • Lack of effective, timely M&E may lead to poor decisions in scaling up

  • Failure to work with partners early may limit their buy-in later (esp. important with PPPs)

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Towards a new scaling up model with ppp status quo
Towards a new scaling up model with PPP: Status quo scaling up

Source, Chandy et al. 2013

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Hybrid scaling up model
Hybrid scaling up model scaling up

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Source, Chandy et al. 2013

M pesa a hybrid model of mobile money service in kenya
M-PESA: A Hybrid Model of Mobile Money Service in Kenya scaling up

  • Initially developed as micro-credit payment mechanism, then scaled up as mobile money service

  • Key actors: Vodafone and DFID challenge fund; Kenyan microfinance institution (Faulu); government

  • Exemplary customer driven design, management, execution

  • Regulation followed innovation

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Overall conclusion 5 gaps and 5 recommendations
Overall conclusion: scaling up5 gaps and 5 recommendations

  • Partnership gap: public/private actors should explore joint/complementary approaches and instruments with joint/hybrid funding of programs designed to bring partners together so they can scale up successful interventions;

  • Incentives gap: governments/donors/COSs need to provide incentives to their partners and their own managers/staff to pursue scaling up;

  • Evaluation gap: evaluations of government/donor/CSO projects should include an assessment of the scaling up practices;

  • Institutional information gap: Governments/donors /CSOs should review and develop their institutional approaches to scaling up;

  • Mindset gap: We need to move from a focus on “making the project work” to a focus on “how do we move beyond the project if it works”?

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Some references
Some references scaling up

  • A. Hartmann and J. Linn. 2008. “Scaling Up: A Framework and Lessons for Development Effectiveness from Literature and Practice.” Wolfensohn Center Working Paper No. 5. Brookings.

  • J. Linn, A. Hartmann, H. Kharas, R. Kohl, and B. Massler. 2010. “Scaling Up the Fight Against Rural Poverty: An Institutional Review of IFAD’s Approach”, Global Working Paper No. 39 , Brookings.

  • L. Chandy, A. Hosono, H. Kharas and J. Linn, 2013 Getting to Scale: How to Bring Developmnt Solutions to Millions of Poor People. Washington, DC. Brookings Press.

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Thank you

Thank you! scaling up

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