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Success at scale: six suggestions from implementation and policy sciences

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2020

TECK-HUA HO
Affiliation:
National University of Singapore, 21 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119077
CHING LEONG
Affiliation:
National University of Singapore, 21 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119077
CATHERINE YEUNG
Affiliation:
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Very often, significantly smaller benefits are observed in final policy outcomes than are indicated by initial research discoveries. Al-Ubaydli et al. have identified a poor understanding of the ‘science of scaling’ as the underlying cause of this discrepancy. They propose a framework to increase our understanding of the science of scaling. We build on this framework by making six specific suggestions capturing three key ideas. First, researchers need to move away from their preoccupation with general theoretical models and focus on subject-specific theories of intervention, leading to individualized treatments. Second, there should be greater collaboration between researchers and policymakers, as well as more transparency in reporting findings, to ensure that the research environment is more representative of the policy environment. Third, researchers should recognize that policymakers do not always maximize social welfare; policymakers may have their own short-term incentives. Therefore, researchers must consider policymakers’ short-term incentives in designing interventions in order to increase the chances of a research intervention becoming a policy.

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Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

1

Authors are listed in alphabetical order. All authors contributed equally.

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