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Michael, you touch upon a core concept – for example: R&D is valuable, but more so is nationalization and application to make good use on a large scale. Scaling is a must to make use of all the resources poured into the pilot, but equally important is to have an impeccable pilot because cost effectiveness versus quality is of the essence in scaled up models. From my experience, scaling up should happen gradually and only when the model has been tested and tried against ‘redundant expenditures and actions’, i.e. losing the unnecessary parts . Sometimes a pilot has to be repeated as is, by multi-partners in different settings before scaling up, but it’s worth the wait.
Once you’ve designed a regional or global scale model, you can go on two ways, find a buy-in from a global or regional partners, or financial partner like a country to support the multi-player application or sell the model one country at a time, different donors, (i.e. dividing the funds over donors or countries), and slowly scale up each model to get the final scaled up effect. On example of a scaled up model I came up with, following 14 country projects, was scaling up in training 200,000 students to 1 million (tested and tried) so that the next model caters for 100 million Arab youth in the MENA over 5 – 6 years. Once aspect I noticed about this training model (initiated by the WB – as you know) is that as you scale up, the cost per student drops down from 1 US$ to 0.26 US$ to negligible. Why ? because once the model is adopted by existing systems, and becomes part of a larger national system, the same resources are used and instead of increasing cost, they add cost effectiveness to resources uses.
It’s important for the model – before scaling up – to have sound assessment and evaluation so that the cost effectiveness, the return on the US$ - i.e. investment return has been verified.