Editor’s Note: The “Scaling up in Agriculture, Rural Development and Nutrition” publication is a series of 20 briefs published by the International Food Policy Research Institute. To read the full publication, click here.
Taking successful development interventions to scale is critical if the world is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and make essential gains in the fight for improved agricultural productivity, rural incomes, and nutrition. How to support scaling up in these three areas, however, is a major challenge. This collection of policy briefs is designed to contribute to a better understanding of the experience to date and the lessons for the future.
Scaling up means expanding, replicating, adapting, and sustaining successful policies, programs, or projects to reach a greater number of people; it is part of a broader process of innovation and learning. A new idea, model, or approach is typically embodied in a pilot project of limited impact; with monitoring and evaluation, the knowledge acquired from the pilot experience can be used to scale up the model to create larger impacts. The process generally occurs in an iterative and interactive cycle, as the experience from scaling up feeds back into new ideas and learning.
The authors of the 20 policy briefs included here explore the experience of scaling up successful interventions in agriculture, rural development, and nutrition under five broad headings: (1) the role of rural community engagement, (2) the importance of value chains, (3) the intricacies of scaling up nutrition interventions, (4) the lessons learned from institutional approaches, and (5) the experience of international aid donors.
There is no blueprint for when and how to take an intervention to scale, but the examples and experiences described in this series of policy briefs offer important insights into how to address the key global issues of agricultural productivity, food insecurity, and rural poverty.