Mainstreaming Scaling in Agricultural Research and Development Organizations

  • Date
  • Time
    06:30 pm > 08:00 pm UTC+03:00
  • Location
    United Nations, Conference Room 7, Nairobi, Kenya

Thematic Areas: Institutional Innovations & Scaling Innovations

Scaling up has become a major focus of efforts by agri-food and innovation funders and researchers.  A number of development organizations have made varying degrees of progress in integrating scaling into their research, innovation and operations, including the CGIAR’s own Scaling Readiness tool. To study these developments, in Spring 2023 the Scaling Community of Practice (SCoP) launched its Mainstreaming Strategic Initiative (MSI). The MSI is a two-year “action-research” effort whose purpose is to (i) assess progress in mainstreaming to date, (ii) develop lessons learned, and (iii) disseminate those lessons to encourage and inform further mainstreaming by interested organizations.

The initiative has used a case study approach in a partnership between the SCoP and the organization under study.  Each case study looked at the following issues: (i) external and internal drivers of mainstreaming within the organization;

(ii) specific actions attempted to operationalize scaling;

(iii) progress made (or not) in those efforts;

(iv) challenges and how they were addressed; and

(v) lessons learned from that experience that could inform.

In its first year, the MSI produced twelve case studies and an interim Synthesis Paper (all of which can be found at This session will present five case studies of organizations working in the agri-food sector – CGIAR, Harvest Plus, IFAD, Syngenta Foundation, USAID’s Bureau of Resilience, Environment and Food Security – and the interim synthesis paper.  The session will focus on the challenges of mainstreaming scaling and how to address them, as well as lessons learned about sequencing, the organizational change process, MEAL for scaling and mainstreaming, support services, and incentives and how to create internal buy-in, adoption and utilization.


  • Dr. Richard Kohl – Co-Director, Scaling COP Mainstreaming Initiative and Strategy and Scale LLC 
  • Dr. Simon Winter – Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture 
  • Dr. Sonja Vermeulen, – Managing Director, Genetic Innovation, CGIAR 
  • Dr. Katherine Diehl – Scaling Specialist, IFPRI and Harvest Plus