Making Scale Work for Sustainable Development: A Framework for Responsible Scaling of Agricultural Innovations

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Scaling generalizable solutions delivered through science, technology, and innovation has become a dominant paradigm for achieving the sustainable development goals. In many cases, organizations articulate theories of change that are intended to support the strategic design and guidance of agricultural research and innovation to contribute to impact at scale. How scaling beyond the immediate research and innovation context is expected to happen, however, is often poorly elaborated in theories of change. The question of how scaling could happen—that is, a theory of scaling—tends to remain a black box of unarticulated assumptions. Similarly, policymakers often lack a governance sense-making framework to consider the appropriateness of a multitude of scaling initiatives in light of societal goals. Recent studies have drawn attention to the fact that scaling processes involve greater complexity than is generally taken into account. This chapter addresses this situation by unpacking what is in that black box and translating this into a guidance framework along the lines of a theory of scaling as a dedicated component of a wider theory of change. The objective is to support researchers, management decision-makers, and policymakers in engaging more effectively and responsibly with scaling initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScience, Technology, and Innovation for Sustainable Development Goals
Subtitle of host publicationInsights From Agriculture, Health, Environment, and Energy
EditorsA.A. Adenle, M.R. Chertow, E.H.M. Moors, D.J. Pannell
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780190949532
ISBN (Print)9780190949501
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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