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Lunch & Learn – “Scaling Global Programs” with Richard Kohl

01/18/2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Scaling up is challenging because many actors, especially funders, believe that it will happen spontaneously by itself, given an innovation or program with gold standard evidence of high-impact. 

Unfortunately ‘build it and they will come’  is the exception rather than the rule in scaling. Rather than magical thinking, scaling most often takes years of hard work, and is more likely to succeed with a clear vision, strategy, financial resources, and most importantly, one or more organizations driving the scaling process.  Dr. Kohl’s presentation will focus on the practical aspects of HOW to scale up.  This will include:

  1. What makes an innovation or program more or less scalable and how to improve it
  2. The different scaling pathways or mechanisms, and their pluses and minuses
  3. Key components of a scaling vision and strategy 
  4. The role of monitoring, evaluation and evidence in scaling up
  5. The common breakdowns and blind spots in scaling up, and what can be done to anticipate them and address them proactively

Dr. Kohl will make a presentation for about 30 minutes and then open it up for questions or live coaching, so bring your own challenges to ask the expert!  

Who will benefit from this presentation:

  • Foundation (and donor) staff at all levels interested in integrating scaling into their grant making, especially program officers and managers, and staff responsible for research, monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning 
  • NGO, social enterprise, and non-profit management, staff and activists looking to: (i) decide whether or not to scale a program, innovation or intervention; (ii) design and implement a scaling vision and strategy;  or (iii) look to improve and refine a scaling up effort already underway
  • Graduate students and faculty in public administration, business, social work, and other social sectors who are currently or see in their future scaling up of poverty reduction programs 




Suggested reading

For those interested in getting some advance background, I suggest you read the following:


Dr. Richard Kohl is an international thought leader and practitioner in the scaling up of innovations, programs and technologies in low-resource settings. For the past twenty years  Dr. Kohl has worked with donor projects, foundation grantees, NGOs and social enterprises in improving the scalability of their programs and designing and implementing scaling strategies. Among Richard’s notable achievements, he led a team in India to scale one of the first community health worker (CHW) programs which today has become the Asha program with over a million CHWs now on the ground at national scale. He is the author of numerous working papers and articles on scaling, including a widely using scaling up strategic framework and scalability assessment tools. In addition to health, Dr. Kohl has worked in agriculture, early childhood development, education, women’s empowerment and livelihoods. He has worked in over 40 countries and for international donors like IFAD, UNICEF, UNFPA, USAID, and DFID and foundations such as Ford, Nike, MacArthur, Packard and Rockefeller.  Richard holds a PhD in Economics from the University of California – Berkley and a BA in Social Sciences from Swarthmore College.  He lives in Beaverton and enjoys cycling, sailing, Nordic skiing, white water rafting, and the beach.



12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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2175 NW Raleigh St Suite 110
Portland, OR 97210
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