Building Evidence for Scaling

Mwenda, F. and Tanner, L.
Publication language
Date published
01 Aug 2020
Response Innovation Lab
Research, reports and studies
Evidence, Innovation
The Research People

Despite an increase in funding and support, few humanitarian innovations have successfully scaled beyond the pilot stage. There are many reasons for this, including a lack of funding targeted at scaling innovation within the sector.

Evidence is one important piece of the scaling puzzle. For any innovator looking to scale, evidence is needed to inform the scaling journey, generate support (including funding), and win allies. However, there is a lack of consensus between donors about the types of evidence required at the scaling stage. Taking into account the complexities of the context, this paper is written for innovators (including individual innovators, groups, those working within organizations and across entities), working in any location. It provides practical and positive guidance on what humanitarian innovators themselves can do to address the evidence piece of the scaling puzzle.

The paper begins with a short discussion of what we mean by scaling and why it is not appropriate for every innovation to scale. The paper then outlines the different types of evidence that are important to different audiences, and some of the factors that innovators should consider in prioritizing evidence.