Getting to scale: Lessons in reaching scale in private sector development programmes

Published by
Adam Smith International (ASI)

This paper looks at the experience of getting to scale in Private Sector Development (PSD) programmes. In particular, it looks at the successes and failures of programmes in scaling pro-poor 'innovations'. In the context of PSD an ‘innovation’ might be a new or improved product or service, such as mobile money, or a new or improved business practice, such as a new village-level distribution model that allows an agro-inputs supplier to better reach and serve customers at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP). The paper focuses on taking the initial ‘innovation’ to scale: section A summarises a variety of different strategies and tactics for getting to scale; in section B, ten lessons in getting to scale are presented, drawing on a variety of programmes and contexts; and section C concludes by discussing the implications for donors and practitioners. The Annex presents a new tool to track progress in getting to scale

This paper draws on the experience of Adam Smith International in implementing a large number of PSD (particularly market system development) programmes across the developing world. It also draws on a number of external programme case studies,