Box Common Ways to Scale Up Successful Programs

Blueprint approach. A technical solution that has worked under a set of generally widespread circumstances is codified into a plan for replication on a large scale. Attempts are sometimes made to tailor to local conditions during implementation, but to communities this is essentially a process that operates down from the top or in from the outside. Local actors might comment on proposed implementation but not on the basic plan. Examples include many nature preserves, appropriate technology projects, large-scale microcredit programs, and infrastructure expansion. Explosion or campaign approach. This involves a large-scale, concentrated effort to marshal resources to deliver commodities or services in response to a generally narrow need. Food, humanitarian aid, and reconstruction assistance after a natural disaster are typical examples. Campaigns focused on disease eradication, such as the global smallpox campaign in the 1970s,are another example. While intensive and generally effective in achieving results, this method is not well suited for systemic change, local variation, or sustainability in terms of local ownership. In fact, some of the favorite disease-specific programs of donors are accused of undermining national health systems, and donated food aid's deleterious impact on local agricultural economies has long been known. Additive approach. Typical "bottom-up" pro jects engage in site-specific activity (a community or cluster of villages) for an extended period of time, developing local leaders and change from within. Often implemented by NGOs or religious mission groups, these projects get to know the local circumstances and adapt to local conditions. Replication is additive as success spreads village by village, community by community. Given that these are often pioneering initiatives or demonstration projects, proponents of this approach argue that governments or others with larger budgets have an obligation to adopt and expand these projects. Going to scale with this approach is very slow and dependent on outside resources.

Biological approach. Drawing comparisons to the way species evolve in nature, this approach supports local experimentation and adaptation ("evolutionary adjustments") and then sets an enabling environment for rapid expansion. It combines the local focus of the additive model with the growth potential of the explosion and blueprint approaches, but unlike the latter the impetus comes from within adapting communities. Government plays an important role in removing obstacles and facilitating expansion. The potential for exponential growth, healthy relationships, and balanced and organic growth make this approach more self-sustaining.

Source: See endnote 28.

driven approaches are the favorite of aid agencies and politicians because they deliver tangible goods quickly: school buildings, hospitals, large dams, airports, and the like. These are not undesirable per se, but this approach is not good at engaging the human element. For example, the spread of microcredit programs in Bangladesh used the blueprint approach for expansion initially but was forced to adopt the biological approach when the limitations of the initial model were reached and it became clear that site-specific solutions were needed to ensure that the poor were reached. The Millennium Village Project of the Earth Institute combines a blueprint approach offering villages choices from a list of over 40 poverty reduction interventions with a campaign approach for the distribution of commodities like bednets, but here again it is not clear how much local adaptation, ownership, and integration with local institutions will develop.29

Some promising programs to stimulate community-driven development reaching millions of people are being supported by the World Bank using essentially a blueprint

Mobilizing Human Energy approach but still managing to support local collective action and give discretion to communities in the selection of projects to fund. They are designed to institutionalize community participation in decisionmaking. Funding is transferred directly into village bank accounts to be used for the projects selected by elected local committees following extensive public dialogue. The program supports various NGOs to help facilitate community participation and the inclusion of marginalized people. Critical to their effectiveness are built-in systems to promote transparency and control corruption. The Kecamatan Development Program (KDP) of Indonesia and the National Solidarity Program (NSP) of Afghanistan are two examples of the Bank's new approach to scaling up successes.

Governments can institute changes in laws, policies, and practices that reshape institutions and remove obstacles to change.

Between 1998 and 2006 KDP covered 34,233 of the poorest villages in Indonesia—about half the villages in the country. The program is significant for the World Bank, representing almost half its lending portfolio to the country. KDP provides grants in the range of $60,000 to $110,000 to districts for use in projects chosen by the community. Open public meetings are held at the hamlet, village, and kecamatan (district) levels to determine priorities; independent facilitators ensure the participation of women and the disadvantaged. Projects are carried out by villages with local labor and materials.30

The KDP promotes transparency by using the local media and billboards to publish the amount of funding provided to each community and the details of the contracts. In addition, the media are given unhindered access to information needed to investigate and publicize incidents of corruption. Rigorous evaluations of KDP have shown that it has made important contributions to behavior change and social norms in project areas compared with control sites, even taking into consideration the broader democratic trends in the country during the period. More people are participating in local decisionmaking forums, including more women. In East Java, 67 percent of survey respondents in KDP villages say decisionmaking is more democratic now, compared with 46 percent in non-KDP villages.31

The NSP in Afghanistan is implemented through a partnership between the government and NGOs and is the only program to have reached all 34 provinces, affecting 13 million Afghans—two out of every three rural individuals. In rural Afghanistan, where no form of local election has taken place in decades and where some traditional leaders have lost credibility because of their role in 20 years of civil conflict, the NSP organizes elections for community development councils and the key leadership positions. Women's participation in the elections and as candidates is supported by program facilitators. Communities have used NSP resources to build community centers, health posts, and schools, to resurface roads, and to construct run-of-the-river hydropower projects. Community members are learning important civic skills, and community cohesion is being rebuilt.32 Innovative blueprint programs such as these, with the backing of government and World Bank resources, are not available to all communities. In addition, their focus has been on providing block grants for small-scale infrastructure, which, combined with the weak coordination within government, has placed limits on community choice.33

A biological approach appears most promising for stimulating solutions that

Mobilizing Human Energy evolve to fit a variety of local possibilities rather than being adjusted after the fact. According to Seed-Scale, the process ideally unfolds simultaneously along three dimensions: community, regional, and national. The first dimension is reached when communities have mastered how to build upon their local success. Initial interventions in one area such as community health have stimulated a wider scope of action in other areas such as food security, environmental protection, education, and income generation. Through partnerships with NGOs and government officials, communities gain access to the knowledge and resources necessary to sustain momentum.

The second dimension is pursued when successful communities share their experiences formally and informally with other communities in the same region. As the farmers in Niger showed, this can happen when NGOs facilitate farmer-to-farmer site visits and when farmers meet and share knowledge in markets and social settings. Specifically, the idea is to help transform clusters of communities that have already mastered a series of interventions into formal Action Learning and Experimentation Centers, where experimentation takes place to adapt these interventions to each local area. Visitors from other communities are welcomed to this group of villages to learn and take part in workshops and formal training. The contrast between traditional development— where outside experts design the solution—and truly home-grown approaches could not be stronger.

The third dimension happens at the level of systemic enabling conditions over which governments most often have the greatest influence. They can institute changes in laws, policies, and practices that reshape formal and informal institutions and remove obstacles to change, encouraging people and institutions to respond to new incentives. In Niger, the change in the forest code that gave farmers secure rights to the trees on their land had this effect. It stimulated investments by farmers throughout the country and further experiments that the forest service could support. Alternatively, structural change can happen at the local level and be scaled up to other levels, as when the women of Arunachal brought about the end to child marriage.

Each of these dimensions is an entry point to the other, and all are necessary to see change operate on a regional or society-wide level. Recent developments in Tibet are a good illustration of this. In the early 1980s Tibet faced growing environmental pressures from population growth, increasing fuelwood consumption, and resource pressures from China's economic expansion. One national policy response was the creation of the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve (QNNP), where local people were encouraged to continue living in the preserve and attention was focused on promoting their economic and social development— action that, in the traditional view, would have been seen as antithetical to environmental protection. The regional government provided budgets and staffing for the conservation area—not to police the region but to engage people through education and incentives. Outside partners brought in knowledge and partnered with communities and townships to focus on improving livelihoods rather than expecting people only to protect nature. A participatory model of conservation management emerged reflecting the Seed-Scale principles.34

Today the duality of development and conservation success can be seen in the QNNP. In the late 1980s the area had only one bank; by 2006 there were 10. Initially none of the 320 villages had protected water supplies; now 64 villages have them. The

Mobilizing Human Energy number of schools has grown from 5 to 38. The population of the area has swelled, partly from immigration due to the growth of several towns but also because better health means more children are surviving. The conservation side of the ledger is just as impressive. Now 42 percent of the land area is protected under conservation management. Wild animal population numbers are increasing for every species, including the endangered snow leopard, the Tibetan antelope, red ghoral, and argali sheep. Deforestation rates have decreased by over 80 percent, and large-scale tree plantations are being started in fragile river drainages. The use of environmentally friendly solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric generated energy is expanding across Tibet.35

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