Evidence and Scale
Notes for remarks to the CIFF board dinner
This presentation examines the challenges of taking promising interventions to scale, with insights of particular relevance to crisis and conflict-affected environments. Barder notes that developed countries have institutions, whether government or private sector, that are able to deliver medicines or fresh water or food or textbooks to people who need them. If developing countries could do these things, they wouldn't be developing countries. And so in development our challenge is not just to know which inputs [e.g. curriculum, textbooks, teachers] are the most cost-effective, but also to know how to reach people with those inputs.
He argues that the successful of scaling up depends on the capacity of the implementers, political environment, supply networks, public awareness and attitude, and therefore any intervention must be adjusted to the local context. To support his argument, he refers to the research conducted by: Bold at al (2013) on scaling up an education intervention in Kenya; Adler, Sage and Woolcock (2009) on development process in Indonesia and Cambodia; Don Honig (2014) on the correlation between the organizational autonomy and project success; Imran Rasul and Dan Rogger's research in 2013 on the management practices and public services delivery in Northern Nigeria. Barder summarizes the findings from this work: intervention should fit to the local environment, gain legitimacy, allow time for learning process and finally the proposed intervention and its environment should be co-evolved together.