This blog was originally published on Brookings' website.
When it comes to supporting innovations at large scale, governments play a central role. But nonstate actors, such as researchers or project implementers, are also essential. Often, they’re the ones who design, pilot, and promote the innovations—hoping one day to hand the initiative over to the government for collaborative, long-term adoption.
As evidence: In the Center for Universal Education’s global catalog of nearly 3,000 education innovations, two-thirds of them were started in the nonprofit sector, while only 12 percent originated in government.
This means that nonstate education actors must become adept at presenting, proving, and pitching innovations to government. They need to learn how government decisionmakers identify and adopt innovations for scale, and the more the implementers and researchers know about the decision-making process, the more effective they can be.
Turns out, however, that there’s scant research on how government decisionmakers decide to support and scale an innovation—and even less in the field of education (most is focused on scaling in health care, agriculture, and poverty alleviation). We reviewed existing research across all four fields to look for consensus and divergence, as well as identify gaps to investigate in our own research.