Now Available!

Scaling Up Development Impact

Cover art: Debasish Dutta, Journey. Further permission is required for reuse.

Scaling Up Development Book Cover

Scaling Up Development Impact


By Isabel Guerrero with Siddhant Gokhale and Jossie Fahsbender


Today, nearly one billion people lack electricity, over three billion lack clean water, and 750 million lack basic literacy skills. Many of these challenges could be solved with existing solutions, and technology enables us to reach the last mile like never before. Yet, few solutions attain the necessary scale to match the size of these challenges. Scaling Up Development Impact offers an analytical framework, a set of practical tools, and adaptive evaluation techniques to accompany the scaling process. It presents rich organizational experiences that showcase real-world journeys toward increased impact.

Square-Item Circle-Item Square-Item Square-Item Stroke
Comic Globes Icon

What people are saying

Reviews of the book from distinguished experts and development practitioners


Perhaps the single most important question in all of development is how to create enduring improvements in people’s lives, at the full scale of the problem. This book makes the rare and critical contribution of bringing together many of the core ingredients to answering this question in a single place, bridging disciplines and communities that too often have remained disparate, particularly: Systems Thinking, Scaling, Political Economy, Psychology and Behavioral Science, Community Empowerment, Public and Market Systems, Adaptive Evaluation, etc.

Abe Grindle


Development economists have come up with powerful techniques to evaluate whether poverty-reduction programs work. But we lack comparable knowledge on how to scale up small interventions and experimental policies. This wonderful book provides development practitioners with a broad set of tools to scale up interventions in a dynamic, iterative fashion, generating new evidence about what works in the process.

Dani Rodrik

Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at the Harvard Kennedy School

It is enormously gratifying to see this next step in professionalizing the work of taking effective solutions to scale. Isabel Guerrero’s book draws on the foundation many of us have worked for more than two decades and adds new insights and examples regarding the roles of grassroots organizations, the private sector, and social enterprises. In a world where practice lags behind rhetoric, the book makes an important contribution to closing that gap and provides practical guidance for everyone committed to ensuring that solutions match the scale of the problems they are intended to address.

Larry Cooley

President Emeritus of MSI

The development challenges of today need to be addressed at scale around the world. This book provides a framework and practical tools to plan for scale as well as lessons from tech-based companies that can be applied to governments and used by funders looking to scale-up. These technological platforms and tools applied to Digital Public Infrastructure at population scale in India are redefining the speed, reach and the scalability of innovations.

Nandan Nilekani

Co-founder & Chairman of Infosys and Founding Chairman of India’s Unique ID (Aadhaar)

The world of development is littered with pilot projects supported by donor partners with a lot of goodwill. The issue becomes how to scale them up for impact. Based on practical examples and great insights, this excellent book by Isabel Guerrero tells you how. A must read for development practitioners seeking to make a difference!

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Director General, WTO

Public programs to combat poverty are transformative only if they achieve sufficient scale. This wonderful book helps to understand how governments can scale-up and sustain their interventions to have a lasting and positive impact on the lives of the poor.

Santiago Levy

Architect of Progresa Oportunidades

Get a first glimpse of the book

An excerpt from Chapter 5 on Scaling through Government is now available in the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s book section. Read to get a sneak peak of the contents of the book.

Read More
Square-Item Circle-Item Square-Item Square-Item Stroke

Celebrating the book: Launch Events

Scaling Up Development Impact was first launched through a series of events in India in October 2023. Imago is arranging several events with partners around the globe in the coming year. Stay tuned for updates, and the possibility to engage in an event near you!

Do you want to learn more about the book? Connect with a member of the Imago team.