Strategic funding model for scale-up: The experience of the Innovation Strategy (infographic)


Scale-up is the gradual and deliberate eff­ort to increase the reach and impact of proven projects, toward long-term, sustained benefit at individual, community, and systems levels. Increasing the reach of a project allows it to serve more people and communities. Scaling up requires long-term, significant investment of resources, time, and understanding of the context in which interventions are implemented.

Supporting scale-up through the Innovation Strategy funding model

The goal of the strategic funding program was to build capacity and create opportunities to scale locally-driven projects to serve additional populations and impact the broader determinants of health.

Accomplishments of scale-up

Assessing scale-up up readiness

PHAC's Innovation Strategy created and applied a Scale-up Readiness Assessment Tool (SRAT) to assess the level of scale-up readiness of a funded project. The SRAT includes identifying predictors of success for the scale-up of e­ffective population health interventions, organized into eight common characteristics:

  1. Intervention evidence and evaluation
  2. Reach and scale
  3. Organizational capacity
  4. Partnership development
  5. System readiness
  6. Community context
  7. Cost factors
  8. Knowledge development and exchange

The complete SRAT tool is available in a published journal article.

Phases of funding

  1. Initial design, development, and testing of interventions (12 to 18 months)
  2. Implementation, scale up readiness, and evaluation of interventions (4 years)
  3. Scale up effective population health interventions (3 years)

82% of Innovation Strategy projects were able to sustain their work through obtaining funding from partners or by becoming integrated into an existing system through scale-up activities.

Not every intervention should be scaled-up. A proven intervention alone cannot create or sustain a change in population health.

An iterative process

Scale-up is not linear. Assessing readiness at the organizational and systems level requires a point-in-time analysis combined with a plan to address gaps against the domains of scale for the future. The Innovation Strategy proved that the SRAT can support this iterative planning and capacity building process towards scale-up.

Lessons learned

The Innovation Strategy generated lessons learned for e­ffective scale-up and adjusted its funding model to support future scale up.

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