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George Washington University

Publication Date

Spring 2011

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


For more than 60 years, development organizations have poured billions of dollars of aid money into developing countries with the hopes that their projects will increase economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve the health status of people in developing countries. Yet, the result has been one of general failure; despite 2 trillion dollars worth of aid money delivered by organizations, there is little progress to show for it. In some cases, development projects have even caused more harm to a developing country than good. The ineffective,” top down” approach of the last 60 years must be ceased and a new way of development planning must be found. One possible way to make development more effective is through scaling up: i.e. the execution of smaller, community-level pilot projects that, if successful can then be scaled up on a national level, replicated in other communities, and/or replicated in other countries. This paper looks at the potential of using scaling up models to make development projects more effective by examining the development failures of the past, scaling up practices of various development organizations, and case studies highlighting the benefits of scaling up.


Growth and Development