The Adoption of Innovation

Article by Benjamin Kumpf & Emma Proud: “The adoption of innovation means an innovation has ceased to be “innovative.” It means that a method, technology, or approach to a problem has moved from the experimental edges of an organization to the core of its work: no longer a novelty, but something normal and institutionalized.

However, the concept of adoption is rarely discussed, and the experience and know-how to bring it about is even less common. While an increasing evidence base has been developed on adopting digital systems in development and public sector organizations, as well as literature on organizational reform, little has been published on strategically moving approaches and technologies out of the innovation space to the mainstream of how organizations work. The most relevant insights come from institutionalizing behavioral insights in governments, mainly in public sector entities in the global north. This gap makes it all the more important to surface the challenges, opportunities, and factors that enable adoption, as well as the barriers and roadblocks that impede it….

Adoption is not the same as scaling. Broadly speaking, scaling means “taking successful projects, programs, or policies and expanding, adapting, and sustaining them in different ways over time for greater development impact,” as the authors of the 2020 Focus Brief on Scaling-Up put it. But scaling tends to involve different players and focuses on a specific service, product, or delivery model. For example, SASA! Raising Voices is a community mobilization approach to address and reduce gender-based violence which was first pioneered in Tanzania, but after being rigorously evaluated, has since then adapted in at least 30 countries by more than 75 organizations around the world…(More)”.