This internal webinar brought together researchers from the CGIAR 'Rethinking Food Markets' Initiative to present the concept of scaling preparedness for different innovations and scaling pathways. It proposed entry points for operationalizing scaling preparedness to ensure the relevance and, ideally, uptake of the innovations beyond the Initiative.
The Rethinking Food Markets Initiative aims to co-develop, test and scale innovations for more inclusive and sustainable value chains. As part of our rethinking, the transformative change envisions stakeholder engagement in co-design of innovation bundles and scaling for impact. We acknowledge that beyond the scaling readiness of innovations, a more process-based approach, considering strategic planning, building organizational capabilities, and scaling preparedness is important. Scaling preparedness emphasizes the proactive and comprehensive co-design and development of innovations and scaling pathways required to achieve uptake and impact at scale.
- This interactive webinar conducted a deep dive into innovation bundle profiling with use cases from Honduras and Ethiopia, which provided insights on one possible step to increase scaling preparedness. In total, 24 participants joined live.
- Researchers from the CGIAR 'Rethinking Food Markets' Initiative critically reflected on opportunities and challenges in stakeholder engagement (e.g. conflicting interests, unequal benefits for affected stakeholder groups) and with profiling.
- Profiling does imply a time commitment and the willingness to take a step back and rethink the planned interventions from various angles. The general notion was that the investment into profiling and stakeholder engagement was worthwhile, saving time and increasing the scalability of innovations in the medium and long term.
- Participants were invited to contact the MELIA&SPA team to discuss concrete and tailored opportunities for stakeholder engagement and to advance the innovation (bundle) profiling.
Key take-aways from the webinar
Innovation and scaling approaches
- There are many innovation and scaling approaches, and no single approach can fit all contexts and aims.
- Key elements of innovation and scaling include context, innovation, stakeholders, resources, accountability/responsibility, and scale.
- The Initiative takes diverse innovation and scaling pathways that combine different building paths such as designing and piloting, identifying and bundling, evaluating and strategizing, scaling and evaluating, and scaling and transforming innovation and innovation bundles.
- Scaling preparedness is a process of developing food s and market actors’ and relevant stakeholders’ abilities to catalyse innovation bundles and accelerate the investment and adoption.
- Stakeholder engagement is a key component of scaling preparedness. Engaging broader stakeholders early requires resources but also provides early feedback on and ownership of innovation design.
- Scaling preparedness can be operationalized through a set of actions and measured with a set of qualities such as the stakeholders’ degree of engagement, ownership, commitment, buy-in and continuation, resource contribution and investment, and adaptability. These actions include:
- Design, test, and scale innovations
- Facilitate and take part in cross-learning
- Generate and communicate evidence
- Innovation bundle profile and profiling
- An innovation bundle profile provides an overview of the bundle’s components and characteristics, the bundling process, the scalability and scaling strategies, and the theory of change and impacts.
- Profiling aims to document evidence of the innovation and intervention process, allowing a reflection on necessary adaptations in the innovation design and required partnerships, assessment of the scalability, and strategizing of scaling actions and investments. The profiling also fosters cross-learning within and beyond work packages, countries, and partnerships.
- A modular profiling template has been built in ODK and can be used for each innovation (bundle). The profiling template has been used by the work package 1 team in Honduras and Ethiopia.