Community Score Card featured on Huffington Post!

Huffington Post and USAID’s Flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program have been collaborating on content highlighting the necessity of community health in reaching those not currently accessing key health services. This week’s blog features our own Community Score Card and their transformational work in Malawi and beyond. The article is called  Generating local solutions: How CARE’s Community Score Card is helping achieve health access for all. Happy Reading!

What we’re listening to: USAID’s first podcast on hacking international development through CLA (Collaborating, Learning & Adapting)

Listening, prototyping, testing, learning and iterating.  The cycle is fundamentally reshaping how we do

SxD participants rethink how the accelerator is designed
SxD participants rethink how the accelerator is designed

Not everyone uses words like “prototyping”, “lean startup”, or “human-centered design”, however.  Similar ideas crop up in adaptive management frameworks across sectors.  USAID defines adaptive management as “intentionally and systematically using relevant knowledge to inform decision-making and ultimately take action. Within the development context, that action could be adjusting interventions or whole strategies, experimenting with new ways of working, scrapping programming that simply isn’t working, or scaling approaches that have demonstrated value.”

In their first podcast, the USAID Learning Lab team explores the implementation of USAID’s Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) Framework to see what the impact has been and how these concepts are changing development.




Scale X Design Media Roundup

Over the past couple of months Scale X Design has been featured in a number of news articles and blogs! Find summaries of some below as well as links where you can read the full source material. Happy reading!

Shark Tank Meets Teach a Man to Fish on Inc.

CARE has evolved into one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations delivering both aid and lasting change in the most vulnerable communities on the planet. CARE is now using an innovative program called Scale X Design, as a catalyst and platform to multiply impact of groups that innovate to help lift people out of poverty. The organization is providing funding to social entrepreneurship programs. 15 teams from around the CARE world pitched to a panel of judges and each poverty-fighting project got a chance to explain why their approaches should be scaled up with the help of CARE’s global resources. They innovators hail from India, Bangladesh, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Ecuador and elsewhere and support female entrepreneurship, job training and fair pay initiatives. From Tanzania, Chomoka aims to take traditional village savings and loans groups and bring them into the digital age with a user-friendly mobile application. From India, CARE’s Inclusive Dairy Value Chains model enables women to become entrepreneurs in all aspects of the dairy business. From Sri Lanka, A Different Cup of Tea addresses social and economic injustices for workers while increasing productivity and reducing costs for tea companies. Read the full article here.

Nonprofit CARE Takes Hint from Startups with New Accelerator on WABE/NPR

The Atlanta-based global humanitarian aid group, CARE gave their staff an opportunity to pitch their ideas in Atlanta and New York as part of its inaugural Scale X Design Accelerator to get $150,000 in funding to implement their ideas. There are many ideas on how to effectively fight poverty and achieve social justice but it often takes years to bring these ideas to scale. CARE’s Village Savings and Loan Associations program is a great example but it took about 25 years to achieve 19 million users. CARE is now one of the first large global humanitarian aid groups to create a customized accelerator program to push through quick ideas, just like startups. For its first Scale X Design Accelerator program, CARE received 73 applications from staff members in 35 different countries, which were narrowed to 15 teams. They participated in an eight-month program and pitched their ideas in Atlanta and New York for more funding. Congratulations to the winners: The Mobile Application to Secure Tenure (MAST) from Tanzania, Krishi Utsho from rural Bangladesh and the CHAT! project from urban Cambodia. Read more here.

Creating an adaptive culture and speeding up the time it takes to adapt on Beam Exchange 

Krishi Utsho (KU) is a CARE social enterprise focused on generating systemic change to improve the availability and accessibility of agricultural inputs and services to small scale farmers in rural Bangladesh. This has been done by supporting the development of a network of microfranchise shops which serve underserved farmers. One of KU’s key goals for the market system is to improve communication between supply companies and small-scale farmers so companies are more responsive to farmers’ needs. In early 2016, the KU Team was selected to participate in CARE’s Scale X Design Accelerator, which aims to reduce the time it takes for an innovation to scale from an idea to widespread impact. From this experience the team learnt about Human Centered Design (HCD). This approach brings to the forefront the needs of the people you are designing for and tests what works and what does not in real world situations. One example of the approach to understanding the needs of the farmers was to ask them what method they preferred for receiving new information and also working with them to develop a way for them to effectively send feedback to the KU Team. Through HCD the KU team was able to better understand the problems that they are trying to solve. This experience provided them with an important perspective on the challenges as well as the needs and interests of the stakeholders. Through the new approach to prototyping they are able to learn and adapt the program much more easily. Two-way communication has proven effective and beneficial for the stakeholders and will continue to be a key component in the strategy moving forward. Read the full blog post here.

Development’s design challenge: Before creating new projects, scale what works on Devex

About 40 percent of women aged 15-49 report emotional, physical or sexual violence from their spouse in Rwanda. This is an alarming number but it is possible to stop this violence. Through a four-year-old effort called “Journeys of Transformation,” couples work together to tackle violence, and develop much healthier relationships. Nearly 8,000 people have gone through the program but much more needs to be done to end violence against women in Rwanda. Initiatives like the Scale X Design Accelerator can do just that. Its purpose is to scale up proven solutions to the barriers holding poor communities back. Scale X Design includes mentorship, labs that build scaling skills and the opportunity for greater investment. There is a proliferation of pilot programs in the development sector. Successfully scaled solutions remain exceptions rather than the norm. Journeys of Transformation involves 20 intense training sessions. Husbands and wives work together to tackle domestic violence, disproportionate workloads and other issues at the core of inequitable gender roles holding women and communities back. The immediate goal is to end violence but husbands that complete the course are more inclined to treat their wives as equals and to enjoy more engaged and positive relationships with their wives and children. The Scale X Design Accelerator has helped the team troubleshoot barriers to scaling through a human-centered design. Through these more deliberate and focused actions this life saving program can reach many more couples in need in Rwanda. Read more here.

Announcing the 3 Scale X Design NYC Challenge Winners!

Congratulations to our five Scale X Design finalist teams on their amazing pitches at last night’s Pitch Night in Brooklyn! Thank you to all our supporters who joined us at New Lab and on Facebook Live for our first-ever Scale X Design Challenge. We are thrilled to announce the 3 Scale X Design Challenge winners who will each receive an award of $150,000.

CHAT!- Cambodia

CHAT! harnesses the reality of young urban factory workers in Cambodia, integrating both entertainment and technology to provide cost-effective and high-impact heath education through a unique combination of hands-on training, relatable video dramas and mobile games.

Krishi Utsho- Bangladesh

Krishi Utsho (KU) is a micro-franchise network of small kiosks that sell agriculture inputs, supplies and services to these farmers, particularly women, in rural Bangladesh.

Mobile Application to Secure Tenure (MAST)- Tanzania

MAST is a mobile application that shortens the time, reduces the cost and simplifies the process for individuals to claim their land rights.

We hope you’ll continue following along on the journey of all the teams as they scale their innovations to impact the lives of millions!

Watch CARE’s Scale X Design Challenge Pitch Night Live on Jan. 26

It’s almost here! Tomorrow watch CARE’s Facebook Live stream at 7 p.m. (EST) to find out which of the 5 finalist teams is awarded one of three $150,000 cash prizes. Live from New Lab in Brooklyn, the Challenge will bring together leading social entrepreneurs, investors, corporate executives and development practitioners for a final Pitch Night. Before a panel of expert judges and an audience, both virtual and actual, each finalist team will describe why their program should be scaled up to reach millions.Whether digitizing village savings groups or promoting gender equality or women’s health, the 5 competing teams span the globe, from Tanzania, Rwanda to Bangladesh and Cambodia. Catch the competition via livestream at where you can also vote for your top pick in a Facebook poll!