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Friday, September 29 • 1:25pm - 1:35pm
Beyond the Big Idea - Navigating Pathways to Scale

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“Scaling” conjures images of disruptive technologies, transformative marketing, and explosive organizational growth. Think Google, Apple, McDonald’s, Uber, Airbnb. But in international development and humanitarian relief, bringing solutions to scale is rarely as straightforward as growing an organization, developing a new business model, or kick-starting a trend. Scaling often involves governments and other third-parties. Important “innovations” often rise or fall on the strength of changes in policies, incentives, funding flows and intermediation. The list of stakeholders able to facilitate or impede progress goes far beyond buyers and sellers, and the delivery of goods and services often involves a wide range of providers. All of these are realities that the back stories behind innovations like the green revolution, oral rehydration, bed nets, and mobile money make painfully clear. For these and other reasons, technological innovations and pilot projects aimed at widespread improvement of economic, social and health outcomes often bake in, with the best of intentions, elements that undermine scalability and neglect broken links in the value chain. Based on experience in helping to scale more than 200 development interventions, this presentation will explore issues including: How do you design projects with scale in mind? How do donors ensure that their investments in innovation help to crowd in rather than crowd out non-state actors? What are the most promising pathways to scaling pro-poor development outcomes? How do official donors, host governments, social investors and private entrepreneurs each best leverage their comparative advantage and established relationships in scaling for the public good?

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avatar for Larry Cooley

Larry Cooley

Founder and President Emeritus, Management Systems International
Larry Cooley is Founder and President Emeritus of Management Systems International, an 800-personinternational development consulting firm headquartered in Arlington, VA and acquired by Tetra Tech in2015. He a founder and curator of the global community of practice on scaling development... Read More →

Friday September 29, 2017 1:25pm - 1:35pm EDT
Amphitheater Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center