Evidence to Policy › Adapting and scaling a program

Adapting and scaling a program

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Programs originally evaluated in one context have been adapted and scaled in others.

Programs that are effective at improving outcomes in one context may help in other places where the key problems and underlying reasons for the problems are similar. But since no two contexts are identical, scaling programs in a different place is not as simple as transferring an “out of the box” solution. To scale appropriately and effectively, policymakers and researchers must account for local conditions and implementation capacity, and then adapt programs to that new context accordingly.

For example, randomized evaluations from several countries have found that the “graduation approach” to be effective in reducing extreme poverty. The program provides participants with a combination of a productive asset (such as livestock), training, coaching, access to savings, and consumption support. However, considering whether the model could be successfully replicated in another country requires a careful assessment. Key questions include how the training component can be made relevant for local markets, whether local financial infrastructure is sufficiently widespread and accessible to facilitate savings accounts, and what livestock asset would make sense for local conditions. By partnering with organizations that have deep local knowledge, J-PAL-affiliated researchers and staff have helped to identify ways in which this program can be adapted to new contexts.

Case Studies

Classroom, India

Teaching at the right level to improve learning

Reorienting classroom instruction has improved learning opportunities for over 50 million students in India and Africa. Read More
Three people stand at corrugated tin stand advertising mobile services in a field in Kenya

Giving directly to support poor households

GiveDirectly has expanded its cash transfer program, which was found in a randomized evaluation to have improved economic and psychological well-being in Kenya, to reach over 60,000 households in rural Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda since 2013. Read More
Smiling woman in a sari with two cows and a goat

Targeting the ultra-poor to improve livelihoods

A multifaceted livelihood program has reached and improved the standard of living for more than 640,000 women in Bangladesh and India following randomized evaluations by J-PAL affiliates. Read More
Kenya’s National School-Based Deworming Programme rolls out in Kwale province, Kenya.

Deworming to increase school attendance

After research found that school-based distribution of deworming pills in areas with high infection rates boosted health and school attendance; the approach has been scaled to reach over 285 million children in 2017. Read More
Installed directly at community water sources, chlorine dispensers provide a visual reminder to use chlorine and are calibrated to deliver a precise dose of chlorine solution to treat the most commonly used water transport containers.

Community chlorine dispensers for better health

Innovative safe drinking water technology has reached 4 million people in Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda. Read More