Most service-delivery interventions begin as pilot projects. When a pilot study of an intervention is successful, managers begin to think about scaling up the project to new areas. Cost is a critical factor influencing the extent and pace of scale-up. This brief explains how to adapt and modify cost information obtained from a pilot project to estimate scale-up costs. The brief shows why the costs of a pilot project alone are not sufficient to predict costs of scale-up and gives examples of how costs are influenced by factors like economies and diseconomies of scale, resource substitution, and intervention modification. The aim of this brief is to help managers think critically about the factors that must be considered in estimating the costs of scaling up an effective intervention. The first decision is whether to scale up the pilot project at all. There should be evidence that the pilot project proved successful, and its success should be achieved at reasonable cost.
Janowitz, Barbara, John H. Bratt, Rick Homan, and James R. Foreit. 2007. "How much will it cost to scale up a reproductive health pilot project?" FRONTIERS Program Brief. Washington, DC: Population Council.
Frontiers in Reproductive Health