A Funder's Guide to Using Evidence of Program Effectiveness in Scale-Up Decisions

by Michael Bangser

May 1, 2014

This Guide provides funders with practical advice on how to think about and use evidence of effectiveness when considering investments in scale-up opportunities. The Guide does not seek to turn private funders into evaluation experts or to delve into the methodological details of particular research approaches. Rather, the focus is on the right questions that funders should ask and the pitfalls they should avoid, including how to recognize the limitations of certain kinds of evidence. The Guide is divided into three sections:

Section I, Eight Key Questions to Ask Throughout the Scale-Up Process, presents what funders should look for to determine whether programs are effective. These questions provide the building blocks for the discussion in the following section.

Section II, Application of the Eight Questions to Scale-Up Decisions, shows how the questions apply to the different stages of a program's evidence-building and scale-up.

Section III, Next Steps for the Field, highlights some remaining challenges for the field to consider in using evidence of effectiveness to guide scale-up decisions.

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