Overcoming Ex-Post Development Stagnation: Interventions with Continuity and Scaling in Mind
2. Scale: Temporal and Spatial Components
2.1. Temporal Scale Considerations
2.2 Spatial Scale Considerations
3. Scaling of Interventions
3.1. A Review of Various Forms of Scaling
3.2. History, Status and the Development Sector
3.2.1. History and Status
3.2.2. Development Sector Experiences
4. Scaling-within: A New Concept for Consideration
4.1. A Brief Overview of the Concept
- The promotion of continuity between the closing stages of a formal full-scale development intervention and the introduction of scaling-within activities (scaling-within activities commence as a previous intervention’s activities are winding down).
- Requiring that the intervention be in a space where there are gaps to be filled at lower hierarchical levels and there is demand for them to be filled. This may constitute no planned expansion into “new” areas but instead promotes in-filling within the quantitative, organisational, political, and institutional boundaries defined by the preceding project (ultimately the watershed (river basin)) as illustrated in Figure 2. This avoids the problem of “scale forcing”, where boundaries need to be expanded to take account of higher level processes. Infilling may occur from multiple nuclei (multiple micro-watersheds as illustrated in Figure 2), as opposed to typical “scaling-out” which is often perceived to be an “outwards-focused spread from a small nucleus of activity” .
- The process could be demand-driven by the adopting communities. This would include an objective “simplification”  of activities to only include those elements of the original intervention which are requested by communities and are cost-effective for producing the desired results (i.e., acceptance of some activities/components and rejection of others). At the same time, space for functional scaling could be possible as adopting communities evolve in their knowledge and needs. This utilises the theory of imitation, where replication with adaptation to specific contexts and situations occurs beyond a time-bound intervention . Community driven development should occur within the broader framework established during the initial intervention.
- Scaling-within contains some similarities to scaling-down as well as to forms of scaling-up including spread, diffusion and spillover. However, social process innovations targeted by scaling-within may require a more supported approach. Case study evidence and literature review suggest that without guidance and impetus to promote ex-post continuity, little diffusion and spillover typically occurs. Informal networking, in partnership with existing or new collaborators, could occur within a broader scaling-within framework.
4.2. Why Scaling-within?
4.2.1. Outstanding Need
4.2.2. Limited Literary Discourse and Empirical Evidence
4.2.3. Strong Potential, Tempered by Barriers
4.3. Scaling-within—The What and How
- Facilitation of community access to business/personal loans.
- Promotion of regional subsidies/incentives for livelihood improvement.Create conditions conducive for small enterprises to be established and engage in livelihood improvement service provision beyond project zones.
- Establishment of marketing channels.Case-study projects provided the potential to link local communities with regional industries/private sector for value-adding activities. If activated, this may help address the over-reliance on primary industry found in many rural areas and promote income diversification .
5. Assessing Scaling-within Against a Framework Drawn from Literature
5.1. Pathways for Scaling-within
5.2. Drivers for Scaling-within
5.3. Spaces for Scaling-within
|Regional Enterprise Development Organizations|
|National Commercial/Agricultural Banks|
|Watershed Trust Funds|
|Private Sector Encouragement|
|Administrative Level||Organizations||Potential Roles & Responsibilities|
6. Caveats and Limitations
- Chandy et al.  describe three critical characteristics of contemporary international aid architecture: (i) typically, aid interventions are very small and official data point to a steady fall in the average size of activities over time; (ii) interventions tend to have a short duration (for a sample of OECD and multilateral agency projects in 2010, mean length was 20 months, with half occurring within a single year); and (iii) interventions are largely discrete and disconnected from each other both within and across time. Whilst on one hand these increasingly fragmented development trends may justify scaling-within as one option to promote integration of continuity in the sector, they also pose a challenge if the concept needs to be effective at smaller scales (where the concept has not been tested theoretically nor practically).
- Incorporating a scaling-within plan into an initial intervention may take some convincing of project proponents and additional pre-planning. Alternatively, if such provisions are not incorporated into the initial intervention, scaling-within can still occur but may require a confirmation of institutional and governance arrangements and more training and support for communities and local authorities.
- Scaling-within is not proposed as a substitute for other forms of scaling-up or scaling-down—in fact it incorporates components of both. In particular, the authors recognise that the large-scale case studies reviewed involved some initial pilot testing and confirmation of concepts in practice prior to being applied at scale.
- To avoid Type 2 scaling errors (as described earlier in this paper), scaling-within may only be recommended where the initial intervention has been deemed “successful”. The authors acknowledge the potential subjectivity of success and that metrics or some other form of stakeholder agreement mechanism could be developed to judge whether or not an intervention should be scaled-within. There are unavoidable linkages to the approach, structure and outputs/outcomes of the initial intervention and ideally, the scaling-within stage should be planned as a possibility for continuation of the initial intervention.
- Related to a determination of “success”, scaling-within is dependent upon the comprehensiveness of the M&E conducted prior to and during the initial intervention. The more information that is available about the intervention and the communities, the more targeted the scaling-within can be.
Conflicts of Interest
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Hiller, B.T.; Guthrie, P.M.; Jones, A.W. Overcoming Ex-Post Development Stagnation: Interventions with Continuity and Scaling in Mind. Sustainability 2016, 8, 155. https://doi.org/10.3390/su8020155
Hiller BT, Guthrie PM, Jones AW. Overcoming Ex-Post Development Stagnation: Interventions with Continuity and Scaling in Mind. Sustainability. 2016; 8(2):155. https://doi.org/10.3390/su8020155Chicago/Turabian Style
Hiller, Bradley T., Peter M. Guthrie, and Aled W. Jones. 2016. "Overcoming Ex-Post Development Stagnation: Interventions with Continuity and Scaling in Mind" Sustainability 8, no. 2: 155. https://doi.org/10.3390/su8020155