Why (and when) we test at scale: No Lean Season and the quest for impact
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Why (and when) we test at scale: No Lean Season and the quest for impact

No Lean Season, a late-stage program in the Beta incubation portfolio, provides small loans to poor, rural households for seasonal labor migration. Based on multiple rounds of rigorous research showing positive effects on migration and household consumption and income, the program was delivered and tested at scale for the first time in 2017. Results showed that the 2017 program did not have the desired impact on inducing migration, and consequently did not increase income and consumption. In this post, we dive deep into these results and explain how they are shaping the path forward for No Lean Season.

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Community Promoters for Better Nutritional Outcomes
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Community Promoters for Better Nutritional Outcomes

We are exploring the potential of  leveraging the Dispensers for Safe Water network of local water promoters to deliver nutritional messages to families. We believe that the existing network of trained and dedicated individuals can provide a cost-effective way to increase household knowledge about nutrition, and potentially reduce undernutrition and malnutrition among children. This is the story of a randomized controlled trial to evaluate this. 

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Turning ‘What Works For A Few’ Into ‘What Works For Millions’
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Turning ‘What Works For A Few’ Into ‘What Works For Millions’

For some time now, evidence-based development has been all the rage. Rigorous evidence about whether an intervention or program works, and for whom and why -- and, by caveat, whether aid money is effectively spent -- is a growing focus of attention. We have seen tremendous growth in so-called impact evaluations of social development interventions and policies to understand whether they work, and significant interest in considering rigorous evidence in making program and policy decisions. This is a welcome and important trend.


But it is easy for this conversation to miss an important element of evidence-based development: How do programs and policies that have been proven to work based on rigorous research studies, in fact, reach millions if not billions of people? What is that path to scaling what works to people who need it most?

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