Facilitating Large-scale Transitions to Quality of Care: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

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Abstract

In the field of reproductive health, investigation of the transfer of knowledge gained from demonstration and pilot projects to large public-sector programs typically has not been considered a relevant domain for research or other investigation. This article draws on a range of research in the social sciences and presents two frameworks for understanding the critical attributes of successful expansion of small-scale innovations. Seven key lessons are developed using examples from family planning where scaling up was an explicit objective, including the early Taichung Study of Taiwan, the Chinese Experiment in Quality of Care, the Bangladesh MCH-FP Extension Project, the Navrongo Project in Ghana, and the Reprolatina Project in Brazil. Unless small, innovative projects concern themselves from the outset with determining how their innovations can be put to use on a larger scale, they risk remaining irrelevant for policy and program development.

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