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Scaling up an evaluated pilot

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Innovate, test, scale: Replicating and expanding a successful evaluated pilot to similar contexts.

A classic approach to evidence-based policy design is to first test an innovation at smaller scale, rigorously evaluate it, and scale the pilot up in the same context if it is shown to be successful. In particular, this method has been applied by governments that have created space for piloting and evaluation as a means to test promising new innovations or tweaks to existing programs. However, there can be important differences in context even within the same country or state, so it is important to factor in administrative capacity to implement the intervention on a broader scale and to consider potential general equilibrium effects.

For example, in Indonesia, researchers found that providing identification cards to beneficiary households improved access to Indonesia’s national rice subsidy program. The researchers tested three variations of intervention, and found that including price information on the cards and making eligibility information public to the community further increased the subsidy that eligible households received. This evidence informed the Government of Indonesia’s decision to scale up social assistance identification cards for a range of programs to the poorest households across the country.

Case Studies

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 292 million children in 2018. Read More
Indonesians participate in their community block grants meetings and decision-making process as part of Generasi, 2007

Incentivized community grants for aid effectiveness

Enabling communities to allocate funds to social programs and services that best meet their needs could more effectively reach the neediest individuals and avoid wasteful spending. Read More
Improving take-up of tax benefits in the United States

Simplified reminders to increase take-up of tax credits

Following an evaluation in California testing variations of reminder letters to low-income households to increase take-up of tax credits, the US tax agency scaled up nationally the use of messaging on notification letters that simply and prominently displayed potential benefits. Read More
Improving third-party pollution audits in Gujarat

Strengthening third-party audits to reduce pollution

Evidence from a randomized evaluation informed the scale-up of a pollution audit policy in Gujarat, India. Read More
Fishing boat in Chile

Information and enforcement to reduce overfishing

Evidence from a randomized evaluation and cost-effectiveness analysis led the Chilean government to expand a consumer information campaign to protect at-risk marine species. Read More
TaRL activities taking place in a classroom in Gujarat, India

Teaching at the Right Level to improve learning

Reorienting instruction has improved learning opportunities for over 60 million students in India and Africa. Read More
Improving learning through intensive individualized tutoring in the US

Individualized tutoring to improve learning

Saga Education’s intensive math tutoring program has been shown to improve academic outcomes and has now reached 2,500 students in the United States. Read More

Parental engagement to improve children's schooling

The French Ministry of Education has expanded a parental involvement program to all public schools in the country on a voluntary basis. 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
TNP2K commercial about the social protection identification card.

Targeted information to improve social assistance

Government scale-up improves access to targeted social programs for 65.67 million people. 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
Police training improves public perception and police morale.

Skills training to strengthen police performance

Training in soft skills for police in Rajasthan, India increased public perceptions of their performance. Read More