Why Pilot Programs Can’t Take Off

Evidence Action made headlines recently for doing something unusual: admitting its No Lean Season program for poor families in Bangladesh hadn’t worked at scale. The admission was a rarity; the scenario is not, writes Kelsey Piper.

In a follow-up piece, Piper dug into the reasons why. For one, scaling up is exceptionally difficult, and not often planned out well, says Mushfiq Mobarak, a Yale economics professor who led the No Lean Season probe, told Piper.

One stumbling point: basic laws of supply and demand. “If your intervention assumed that people could sell goat milk to support their families, it might not work once goats are everywhere,” Piper writes.


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