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"Science of Scaling": Strengthening the network of researchers passionate about innovation for responsible impact at scale
Thursday, 2024/05/30 | 08:13:49

Figure: By Esther Kihoro, ILRI Impact at Scale Program and Wageningen University and Research; Marc Schut, Portfolio Performance Unit in CGIAR Systems Organization and Wageningen University and Research; Cees Leeuwis, Wageningen University and Research; and Erin McGuire, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture at the University of California at Davis. 


CGIAR May 27 2024


Why does scaling matter? 


CGIAR, the world’s largest publicly funded agricultural research network, has developed many innovative solutions for the developing world’s smallholder farmers. While CGIAR excels at developing agricultural innovations, bridging gaps between innovative solutions and widespread impact remains a challenge. Scaling innovations for smallholder farmers faces various challenges including 1) how to align innovation demand and supply, 2) how to ensure innovations that are developed in controlled research environments can survive the complex realities of smallholder farming, and 3) how to effectively work together and co-invest with public and private sector to make scaling happen. It is important to recognize that scaling innovations is not an “end goal”, but rather a means to achieve desired outcomes and transformative change.  


Science of scaling 


This is where the science of scaling comes in. By understanding the intricate factors at play, it can contribute to increasing the likelihood that innovations effectively respond to the context-specific challenges faced by farmers. This was at the heart of a two-day “Science of Scaling” retreat organized by Wageningen University & Research under the CGIAR Research Initiative on Diversification in East and Southern Africa (Ukama Ustawi). The science of scaling work was initiated under the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Banana (RTB), which published a Special Issue on the topic in Elsevier’s Agricultural Systems journal in 2020. 


The retreat aimed to bring together a growing network of scaling scientists and for them to share knowledge, exchange scaling methods, and advance the scaling science agenda. Held at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya on 18–19 March 2024, the retreat brought together 18 scientists, researchers, and PhD candidates representing  the African Centre for Technologies Studies (ACTS), the University of California at Davis, and Wageningen University & Research, as well as 5 CGIAR Centers, including the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT (ABC), ILRI, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Potato Center (CIP), and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). 


See more https://www.cgiar.org/news-events/news/science-of-scaling-strengthening-the-network-of-researchers-passionate-about-innovation-for-responsible-impact-at-scale/  

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