Project interventions are important vehicles for development globally. However, while there is often allocation of resources for new and innovative (pilot) projects—with varying levels of success—there is seemingly less focus on consolidating and/or scaling the positive impacts of successful larger interventions. Assuming an overarching development goal to have long lasting impact at scale, this approach seems somewhat contradictory. Scaling is often not integrated into project planning, design and implementation and rarely pursued genuinely in the ex-post. However, where demand for further development remains outstanding beyond project completion, opportunities may exist to build upon project platforms and extend benefits in a cost effective manner. This paper examines existing scaling typologies, before introducing “scaling-within” as a concept to promote greater continuity of development to a wider range of stakeholders. Scaling-within offers the opportunity to “in-fill” intervention principles and practices to both project and non-project communities within a broader strategic framework to address disparities and to promote sustainable development. The authors draw on research from case studies of large-scale integrated watershed rehabilitation projects and assess scaling-within against a contemporary scaling framework drawn from the literature. While the concept is tested with watersheds as the administrative unit, the authors anticipate applications for other project management units.
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