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Characterize

This step characterizes the project 's scaling objectives, innovations, scaling context, and stakeholder networks

Concepts

A crucial first step is to have clearly defined project characteristics, innovations, and scaling ambitions.

Scaling projects do not operate in isolation. There are other people, organizations, and projects working on similar or competing initiatives. To develop scaling strategies that ‘work’, it is important to have a good overview of your project, the innovations it is trying to scale, and the scaling context and ambitions.

Innovation package

Scaling Readiness distinguishes between core innovations and complementary innovations. Core innovations areinnovations that are the main focus of the projects that are to be brought to scale. Complementary innovations are innovations necessary to scale core innovations. They are often more context specific and related to the broader environment that can enable or constrain the core innovation to have impact at scale. Taken together, the core and complementary innovations are referred as to the innovation package.

Innovation systems

The term innovation systems is often used to summarize the complex interplay between an innovation and the environment or landscape in which it is developed, tested, or scaled. We distinguish between three types of landscapes:

  1. The innovation landscape: the complementary innovations that may impede or support the scaling of a core innovation;
  2. The intervention landscape: the set of projects, programs, and other initiatives that are working on similar problems, have similar objectives, and/or are developing and scaling compatible or competing core or complementary innovations;
  3. The stakeholder landscape: the networks of stakeholders that have the ability to influence, develop, or work on (the scaling of) innovations.

To develop meaningful scaling strategies it is essential to characterize the core and complementary innovations, interventions, and stakeholder landscape.

Towards context-sensitive scaling strategies

Innovation and scaling projects often operate across different geographies and contexts. Scaling Readiness acknowledges such differences and moves away from promoting ‘one-size-fits-all’ scaling strategies. Although the core innovation may be the same for the whole project, the complementary innovations, stakeholders, and intervention landscape are likely to vary across project sites. Scaling Readiness identifies innovation packages for each project site and gathers detailed information about the specific intervention landscape and stakeholder landscape. This forms a solid basis for identifying site-specific scaling bottlenecks and developing activities and partnerships to overcome them.

Practices

Project teams characterize the project's aims and scope, scaling objectives, innovation package, and scaling context.

Step 1 Objectives

Step 1 achieves the following 5 objectives:

  • Objective 1.1: To characterize the intervention by capturing detailed information on the intervention locations, development or business sectors, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), research and development outcomes, target beneficiaries, and budget allocation.
  • Objective 1.2: To characterize the core innovation(s) that the intervention is trying to scale.
  • Objective 1.3: To identify the complementary innovations that are needed for scaling the core innovation in the different intervention locations.
  • Objective 1.4: To have validated innovation packages for each of the locations where scaling is aspired.
  • Objective 1.5: To characterize the stakeholders, their interventions, and their networks.

Once the intervention, scaling objectives, the innovation package, and the stakeholder networks have been characterized, the user proceeds to Step 2.

Implementation

The implementation of Step 1 is facilitated through a coherent set of 5 activities and 12 sub-activities

  • Objective 1.1: To characterize the intervention by capturing detailed information on the intervention locations, development or business sectors, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), research and development outcomes, target beneficiaries, and budget allocation.
    • Activity 1.1: Characterize the intervention.
      • Sub-activity 1.1.1: Conduct a facilitated interview with the intervention manager.
      • Sub-activity 1.1.2: Curate the data and prepare the list of well-defined research and development outputs.
  • Objective 1.2: To characterize the core innovation(s) that the intervention is trying to scale.
    • Activity 1.2: Characterize the core innovation(s).
      • Sub-activity 1.2.1: Determine and define the core innovation(s).
  • Objective 1.3: To identify the complementary innovations that are needed for scaling the core innovation in the different intervention locations.
    • Activity 1.3: Characterize the complementary innovations.
      • Sub-activity 1.3.1: Prepare the Scaling Readiness workshop.
      • Sub-activity 1.3.2: Organize the Scaling Readiness workshop.
  • Objective 1.4: To have validated innovation packages for each of the locations where scaling is aspired.
    • Activity 1.4: Refine and validate the innovation package(s).
      • Sub-activity 1.4.1: Administer the Scaling Readiness innovation profile survey.
      • Sub-activity 1.4.2: Prepare innovation descriptions.
      • Sub-activity 1.4.3: Validate the innovation packages and innovation descriptions.
      • Sub-activity 1.4.4: Incorporate feedback and share the final Scaling Readiness workshop report, which includes the innovation packages and innovation descriptions.
  • Objective 1.5: To characterize the stakeholders, their networks, and their interventions.
    • Activity 1.5: Characterize the stakeholders, their networks, and theirinterventions.
      • Sub-activity 1.5.1: Identify the stakeholder groups using the sampling framework.
      • Sub-activity 1.5.2: Administer the stakeholder profile and the stakeholder network survey.
      • Sub-activity 1.5.3: Curate the data and prepare the list of stakeholders and stakeholder networks.

Download the full Step 1 documentation for more detailed activity and sub-activity descriptions.

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