The key concepts used in the context of this Scaling Readiness Guidelines are defined as follows

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Because people are interdependent, scaling requires shared expectations, mutual adjustment, and forms of concerted action among stakeholders with different interests; this is meant to be expressed in an agreed-upon scaling strategy and scaling action plan.


Complementary innovations

Innovations that are necessary to scale core innovations. They often relate to the broader environment and are geared toward making this environment more enabling, thereby allowing the core innovation to have impact at scale

Core innovations

Innovations that are at the heart of initiatives/ interventions and that are expected to contribute to transformation and impact at scale.

Curation of data

The process of organizing and integrating data collected from various sources and transforming them into an electronic format that preserves the data for future use.


Demand partner

Organizations or entities that have (expressed) an explicit or implicit demand for an innovation, change or who aspire to a specific goal or impact to which an intervention team can contribute.


Enabling environment

Conditions that need to be in place for core innovations to have impact at scale. In Scaling Readiness we often refer to the enabling environment as the complementary innovations that enable or constrain core innovation to have impact at scale.


A short intermezzo in meetings to “activate” the body and the mind

Evidence-based decision making

Scaling Readiness provides evidence-based decision making on the bottlenecks to the scaling of an innovation in a particular context



A process of providing structure and direction to stakeholder interactions so that groups are able to function effectively and make high quality decisions.



People who are part of the project team working directly on the scaling of an innovation.


New, improved or adapted outputs or groups of outputs such as products, technologies, services, organizational and institutional arrangements with high potential to contribute to positive impacts when used at scale.

Innovation package

Combinations of interrelated innovations and enabling conditions that, together, can lead to transformation and impact at scale. They are context, outcome, and use-group specific and their ability to contribute to outcomes and impact can change over time.

Innovation partner

Organizations or entities that an intervention team collaborates and co-invests with to improve the readiness of innovations to contribute to impact at scale.

Innovation profile

Description of the elements of the innovation

Innovation readiness

A metric used to assess the maturity of an innovation, with a scale ranging from the idea (lowest level) to validated under uncontrolled conditions (highest level).

Innovation system

The complex interplay of interventions, innovations, actors, and structures that enable or constrain innovation and the scaling of innovation

Innovation use

A metric used to assess the extent to which an innovation is already being used, by which type of users and under which conditions, with a scale ranging from no use (lowest level) to common use (highest level).

Integrative negotiation

A negotiation process whereby conflicting interests are resolved to some degree by newly discovered shared interests and problem definitions as a result of social learning.


An intervention can be a project, program, policy, or other initiative aimed at developing and scaling an innovation

Intervention donor

A person or an organization that provides financial or material assets to sponsor an intervention. This activity is usually undertaken voluntarily.

Intervention managers

People who have direct responsibility for managing intervention activities partially or as a whole.

Intervention partners

People who provide intervention resources and grant responsibility to organize and implement interventions or other activities.

Intervention profile

Description of the elements of the intervention

Intervention team

Intervention managers and other people who are employed by, and contribute to, the scaling intervention.


Long-term feedback loop

The systematic and periodic monitoring of changes in innovation systems’ characteristics (Step 1) and the diagnosis of innovation readiness and innovation use (Step 2) in consecutive cycles of Scaling Readiness to monitor the Scaling Readiness of the innovation package.



Formal and informal gathering and analysis of information relevant to drawing lessons about progress and/or the need to adapt the scaling strategy or the scaling action plan.



Finding direction and adjusting scaling strategies and scaling action plans in response to observed changes in the environment.



Investments, strategies and processes aimed at increasing innovation readiness and/ or innovation use to contribute to positive impacts at scale.

Scaling action plan

A detailed plan that provides the actions, responsibilities, timelines, and resources allocated to implement the scaling strategy.

Scaling bottlenecks

The core or complementary innovations in an innovation package with the low(est) innovation readiness and innovation use.

Scaling context

The environment or geographical location in which the scaling of an innovation is intended to contribute to achieving specific livelihood outcomes or impacts.

Scaling partner

Organizations or entities that an intervention team collaborates with to advance the uptake and use of innovations at scale.

Scaling readiness

Metric that combines single or average innovation readiness and innovation use scores at innovation package or portfolio level.

Scaling Readiness approach

Evidence-based approach to support the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of strategies to increase readiness and use of innovations at innovation package and/or portfolio level.

Scaling Readiness monitor

A dedicated Scaling Readiness data collector and facilitator who supports rigorous implementation of Scaling Readiness.

Scaling Readiness portfolio management

Application of Scaling Readiness approach and metrics to support resource allocation, monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) and risk management across multiple innovation packages.

Scaling Readiness rigor

To support evidence-based decision making, Scaling Readiness follows a rigorous stepwise process of data collection, data analysis, and strategy development. To identify impactful scaling strategies, it is essential to follow this rigorous process.

Scaling strategy

A set of coherent activities, stakeholders, and stakeholder engagement models to overcome one or more scaling bottlenecks.

Short-term feedback loop

The monitoring that is concerned with the effective implementation of the scaling action plan as part of Navigate (Step 5). This learning loop focuses on the day-to-day fine-tuning, planning, and implementation of activities with stakeholders and stakeholder engagement models as defined in the scaling action plan.

Social learning

A facilitated process of interaction in which people learn about one another’s context and perspectives, discover how they depend on one another, and develop agreed-upon starting points for a scaling strategy and a scaling action plan.

Stakeholder engagement model

Model of how to work with the key stakeholders to overcome scaling bottlenecks (e.g. bilateral collaboration, setting up an innovation platform).

Stakeholder profile

Description of the stakeholders, their networks, and their interventions.

Strategic options

The strategies that can be used to overcome scaling bottlenecks, including substitution, outsourcing, developing the innovation with low innovation readiness and innovation use, or the relocation, reorientation, postponement, or stopping of the intervention if overcoming the bottleneck in a specific location or time-path is unfeasible.


Updated innovation package

An innovation package that has a higher Scaling Readiness than the original innovation package after the strategic options to overcome scaling bottlenecks have been considered.


Window of opportunity

An often-limited period of time in which there is relatively high potential to influence change and scaling in response to emerging trends and/or pressures.

Working group

A number of team members assigned to deal with one or more problems and suggest or implement solutions.


An intensive, reflective, creative, and speedy process in which a number of stakeholders engage to come up with innovative solutions to problems in a given context.

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