The Tamarack Institute has published a great, new resource by Mark Cabaj on Evaluating Efforts to Scale Social Innovation.
It lays out sample questions, indicators and methods for different types of scaling and provides reminders for things to keep in mind when designing evaluations of scaling efforts:
- Clarify what is being evaluated
- Make the evaluation user-focused
- Use mixed methods - “no numbers without stories; no stories without numbers”
- Fail forward - “scaling is a complex process that includes both successes and failures - be serious about learning from both”
- Adapt the evaluation design (the evaluation design should co-evolve as the social innovators learn and apply new approaches)
Are you working on an evaluation on scaling a social innovation in your community? Have you used any of these approaches? What’s working for your project?