Scaling Innovations in Development: The Experience of IDB Lab

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Guerrero, Isabel;
Apr 2023
Sergio Navajas, María Elena Nawar
The approach to scaling up innovations in development is broken due to insufficient skills and funding for intermediation. Intermediation involves the essential technical assistance required by organizations and projects to achieve scale, such as strategic planning, convening, and coordinating stakeholders, and investment packaging. This report derives lessons on how to effectively scale innovations in development through an analysis of 39 IDB Lab projects and approximately 100 interviews. It proposes adhering to four principles for enhancement: establishing a consistent and systematic definition of scale, measuring success based on the maturity of the solution, acknowledging, and fostering the intermediation function, and investing in agile tracking while learning from errors. By implementing these strategies, development organizations can seamlessly incorporate scaling up innovation into their operations.