Research-into-Action Brief: Understanding Scalability

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GADRRRES, Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector

This brief explores the meaning of “effective scaling up”. It observes that there are both quantitative and qualitative attributes of scaling up and that effective scaling up initiatives need to be adaptable, sustainable and successful in achieving their objectives.  The importance of incorporating monitoring and evaluation throughout the scaling-up process is described. The brief also reflects on the internal and external factors that create supportive environments for scalability and the different pathways that scaling up may take. A case study describes a scalability toolkit developed by Save the Children. The brief concludes with a discussion on measuring scalability and how different features identified in understanding scalability can be used to assess and plan. This brief is part of a series.

The Research-into-Action Brief series includes two main tools:

1. Research-into-Action Briefs and Summaries

2. Shared Bibliography on Zotero:

These tools are for practitioners working in fields of child-centred risk reduction (CCRR), climate change adaptation (CCA) and school safety. The briefs and summaries are also intended to be used for training and capacity development for practitioners and partners, including government.

The briefs provide a concise review of research findings on a range of topics which have been selected by practitioners. The briefs have a focus on how the research findings could be (or have been) applied in practice. Each brief is 6-10 pages long, and generally contains a glossary, literature review, case study or examples, practical applications, key readings, and follow-up questions.

The summaries are two pages long and provide a quick snapshot of the main messages from the briefs. These can be used to both promote the full Research-into-Action Brief, to provide a quick overview of the topic, or to promote the use of research.

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