Scaling for Effectiveness: supporting women’s empowerment – new research project launch

The H&S Davidson Trust and Jigsaw have unveiled an exciting new global research project on how philanthropy can better support good projects to reach scale.

The objectives of the project are as follows:

  • To gain a greater understanding of the attitudes of funders and implementers towards expanding or reshaping successful test activities, and to gauge the priority they give to this. The lens used in this research will be that of women and the Global South
  • To determine the practices used by funders and implementers in identifying/developing new processes, approaches or programs – their own and those of others; which work best and why; whether and why there are thousands of successful yet “rusting” initiatives around the world, much re-invention of the wheel. How can the level of efficiency and effectiveness of innovation in the sector be increased?
  • To identify the main barriers to scaling or expansion of successful new initiatives, and to generate suggestions for how they may best be surmounted
  • To explore the current power structures between funders, implementers, and beneficiaries on the front line, how they are changing, and whether beneficiaries could become equal partners. What is the fairest balance of power, and how can the balance be changed in practice?
  • To understand who are the main “Scalers”, how far implementers involve them from the beginning of programs or activities, and what are the best tools to achieve scaling
  • How much freedom should/do funders and implementers give to beneficiaries to develop their own solutions? How best to offer grassroots people on the front line the opportunity to develop their own small-scale solutions with an agreed large-scale framework?
  • How do implementers ensure retention of learning and best practice, build collective memory, and to avoid repeating mistakes, in a context where information is widely spread across different players and countries, and there is significant staff turnover?
  • In Women’s Empowerment, what has the most power to improve the lives of low-income women in the Global South – the activist global women’s movement, specific programs/systems to improve the lives of the poorest, or other approaches?

Research will be conducted over the course of this year, and Alliance will be publishing the results. Stay tuned for more information on how you can get involved.