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The Science of Scaling: Evidence to Advance Anti-Poverty Innovations

Conference   |   past event  |  Sep 26 2016

The Development Impact Lab (DIL), funded by USAID, builds scale into the design of new technologies for global development. Yet the precise barriers to scale are often ill-defined at the outset– and there are few generalized mechanisms for scaling evidence-based innovations in emerging markets. To learn from ongoing efforts around the globe, DIL is hosting our annual State of the Science conference on The Science of Scaling.

Co-hosted by CEGA and the Blum Center, this one-day conference will bring together academic researchers, development practitioners, technology developers, and investors to review the evidence on scaling successful anti-poverty innovations–particularly those developed at universities. Are there proven methods for technology transfer from university to government agencies or NGOs? Why do some products and interventions scale better than others? What facilitates the adoption of new technologies by end-users? This event will explore these questions and help articulate a research agenda for the “Science of Scaling”.


9:00am – 9:20am Welcome Remarks

9:20am – 10:40am External Validity – Multi-Country Studies: Same Hypothesis, Different Settings

  • Manisha Shah, Associate Professor of Public Policy, UCLA
  • Susan Hyde, Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley
  • Aaron Dibner-Dunlap, Program Manager, Innovations for Poverty Action
  • Kweku Opoku-Agyemang, CEGA Research Fellow, UC Berkeley

10:40am – 11:55pm Enabling Scale with Technology

  • Evan Thomas, Associate Professor, Portland State University (moderator)
  • Richard Matthew, Professor of Planning, Policy and Design and Political Science, UC Irvine
  • Ofir Reich, Data Scientist, Center for Effective Global Action
  • Nathan Wangusi, Research Scientist, IBM Research Africa

11:55am – 1:00pm Testing at Scale

  • Louis Boorstin, Managing Director, Osprey Foundation (moderator)
  • Karthik Muralidharan, Professor of Economics, UC San Diego
  • Guillaume Kroll, Research Manager, Evidence Action
  • Claire Walsh, Policy Manager, J-PAL

1:00pm – 1:30pm Networking Lunch

1:30pm – 2:40pm Spotlight: Education Interventions at Scale

  • Peter Cooper, Associate Director, Monitoring & Evaluation, Room to Read
  • Jessica Kiessel, Senior Strategy Officer, PATH
  • Jenny Perlman Robinson, Nonresident Fellow, Center for Universal Education, Brookings Institution
  • Lia Fernald, Professor of Public Health, UC Berkeley
  • Marc Shotland, Director of Research and Training, J-PAL

2:40pm – 3:50pm Using Media and Civil Society to Promote Scale Up

  • Rebekkah Hogan, Research Program Manager, Facebook (moderator)
  • Aaron Belkin, Director, Palm Center
  • Kate Casey, Assistant Professor of Political Economy, Stanford University
  • Kim Longfield, Director, Strategic Research and Evaluation, PSI

3:50pm – 5:00pm Mixed Methods Research for Scaling DevEng Innovations

  • Jenna Burrell, Associate Professor, School of Information, UC Berkeley
  • Deborah Naatujuna, Resilient Africa Network, Makerere University
  • William Tarpeh, PhD Candidate in Environmental Engineering, UC Berkeley
  • Jennifer Walske, Visiting Fellow, Blum Center for Developing Economies
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This is a past event.

Get to know the speakers

Lia Fernald
UC Berkeley
Karthik Muralidharan
UC San Diego
Manisha Shah
UC Los Angeles

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