Webinar: Learning from Failure and Scaling of Resilience-Building Initiatives

GRP and Itad hosted a webinar on 29 April that looked into lessons learnt from GRP’s Challenge Funds.

GRP has successfully run Challenge Funds, which aimed to drive innovation in resilience practice by creating a safe space for Challenge Winners to test, learn and adapt their project. During this webinar, Jesper Hornberg (GRP), Dave Wilson (Itad) and Sarah Robens (Itad) shared key insights from case studies documenting learning from GRP Challenge winners.

The webinar as well as the background case studies are aimed at those interested in learning about how to create a space to test innovations, take risks, learn from failure, and scale successful initiatives. Failure for GRP is not viewed negatively. Instead, it represents a great opportunity to learn from and improve projects and, crucially, to document and share learning so others avoid the same mistakes. Without embracing this kind of learning, and this approach to failure, few initiatives can be expected to scale in a meaningful way. 

Throughout the webinar, Jesper, Dave, and Sarah drew on key examples from Challenge Winners, including Mercy Corps, Groundswell International, Mahila Housing Trust, and others. Challenge Winners in attendance also provided their perspectives.  

Background case studies:

Case Study: Learning from Failure to Accelerate Success in Resilience-Building Initiatives

Case Study: An Incubator Approach to Scaling Effective Resilience Solutions

Presentation slide deck:

Learning from Failure and Scaling Webinar Presentation

Webinar Recording:


Jesper Hornberg is GRP’s Innovation and Scaling Lead as well as the Lead of GRP’s Incubator. He provides oversight and leadership for GRP’s work on developing, improving, and scaling initiatives by the GRP Challenge Winners as well as external initiatives and ideas.

Dave Wilson is a Principal Consultant at Itad and leads their work on climate change Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning for a range of organizations including DFID, World Bank, UN agencies and philanthropy. Since 2016, he has been supporting GRP as a learning partner.

Sarah Robens is an independent consultant with Itad.  She has over 20 years’ experience in evaluation and learning for change in the UK and overseas, in the public and private sectors.  Sarah has a particular area of expertise around supporting projects, innovators and organisations to spread and scale their successful approaches. 

Moderator: Simone Verkaart, GRP Design and Impact Lead