SCALE+ | System-wide Collaborative Action for Livelihoods and Environment

Keys of SCALE+

Keys Purpose Activities Desired Outcome
Think icon



Embrace the need to understand how diverse forces and structures influence an identified development issue.

  • Establish that a given development effort will be approached with “systems thinking.”
  • Establish that the goal is broad impact rather than pilot actions or isolated technical assistance with pre-selected partners.
  • Discuss the implications of “working at scale starting at scale” with the donor/client and the Project Implementation Team in order to broaden sector and partner involvement to realize a high-level
    program objective.
  • Discuss the overall system to be affected and potential leverage points and partners.
  • Agree to work at the scale of the targeted system.
  • Agreement among donor /client and Project Implementation Team to invest in integrated, multidisciplinary solutions.
  • Agreement that project technical assistance will target collaborative actions of multiple stakeholders to ensure sustainable large-scale impact.
Map icon



Define the width and depth of the system

  • Gain an understanding of system relationships.
  • Identify the key thought leaders and diverse actors to participate in a Cross-Sector Advisory Committee.
  • Broaden initial perspective on the high-level development objective; consider related development issues; engage system-wide partners with guidance from a Cross-Sector Advisory Committee.
  • Identify and establish Cross-Sector Advisory Committee of local representatives.
  • Establish Systems Integration Team to act as system secretariat (focused on communication) to facilitate the process.
  • Conduct inventory of stakeholders/actors in “the system,” noting HOW and WHERE current players
    are active in addressing the focus issue.
  • Identify new (unrecognized) resources and partners.
  • Develop maps to describe the larger “system” around the development issue by identifying the related environmental, economic, governance, and social issues and the multiple stakeholders related to the issue.
  • A profound understanding of the system within which the project’s high-level development objective sits:
  • “Living” list of potential project partners spanning multiple sectors (environment, economic, governance, social).
  • Database of key issues and related activity of different stakeholders, projects, other efforts.
  • Stakeholder relationship map (focus and strength of connections) that shows the state of the system at a given point in time.
Integrate icon


Social Capital

Catalyze system-wide collaboration and build social capital by formalizing relationships both vertically and horizontally (within and among stakeholders - linking and bonding)

  • Facilitate and establish the enabling environment for efficient, technical investment and for collaborative actions that can be sustained over time through local commitment, energy, and resources.
  • Launch and define the issue for the Whole System
    in the Room (WSR) retreat with the Cross-Sector
    Advisory Committee to gather key stakeholder groups for strategic planning.
  • Invite up to 100 representatives of as many as 10 stakeholder groups (equal numbers in each group)
    to attend the retreat.
  • Conduct the WSR, bringing representatives from stakeholder groups representing key sectors (media, business, and other donors) together to define their common ground or “consensus” goals and commit
    to collaborative actions towards these.
  • Establish Task Forces based on the common ground goals.
  • Develop a strategy/work plan for each Task Force that: 1) supports the WSR goals and the stakeholder groups’ 100 and 1000 day action plans; 2) strengthens horizontal communication, relationships, and networks; and 3) leverages donor financing and private sector investment to achieve results.
  • Strengthen communication and networking, partnerships and coalitions through stakeholder engagement activities.
  • Negotiate solutions (conduct positional and interest-based negotiation).
  • Increased social capital around a development issue.
  • Commitment to common action agenda and willingness of stakeholders to share resources, integrate work plans, and improve information flow.
  • Environment more conducive to transformation. Stakeholders moving toward common vision, trust, cohesion, and collaborative action.
Transform icon


Scale Up

Create collaborative, sustainable action in order to support locally-owned and innovative solutions and deliver evidence-based technical services and resources to catalyze system-wide change.

  • Through the leadership of the Cross-Sector Advisory Committee, diverse stakeholders design, dedicate their own resources, and agree to a set of coordinated activities with targeted technical assistance and capacity building activities to fill identified gaps.
  • Establish, through consultation with the Cross-Sector Advisory Committee, needs for targeted technical assistance.
  • Agree upon priorities and include in work plan
    Identify internal and external sources of
    technical expertise.
  • Use targeted technical assistance and social change methodologies (civil society mobilization, advocacy, social marketing, education, organization development, and conflict resolution) to achieve specific results.
  • Identify and promote heroes (early adapters/pioneers) within the system.
  • Keep momentum going by sharing progress.
  • Large-scale impact of technical assistance with the greatest number of stakeholders benefiting from project interventions, system resources, and system change.
  • Collective behavior change and economic and social development.
Measure icon



Monitor and evaluate program impact through key outcome and process indicators

  • Conduct participatory assessment to quantify results of technical interventions and changes in social capital.
  • Review program methodology to assess and document progress toward overall project outcome.
  • Reflect on results and process for continued planning.
  • Gather data on agreed-on aspects of the system (e.g., environmental, economic) to establish a baseline.
  • Summarize of current facts to allow for data-informed planning and priorities.
  • Gather data for social network analysis (SNA) at baseline and monitor both sector-results and SNA to inform decision making.
  • Involve stakeholders in monitoring and evaluating:
    - Social capital within system
    - Technical interventions
    - System transformation
  • Map change in relationships throughout the process – bridging/bonding, decentralization/distribution, density/number.
  • Share and promote results (reports, case studies, presentations) with various audiences.
  • Monthly stakeholder collaboration records to monitor change in social capital.
Documentation and dissemination of results of technical interventions and changes in social capital leading to improvements in overall outcomes:
  • Local actors have the capacity to monitor project performance and evaluate impact.
  • Evaluation informs project adjustments.
  • Improved social cohesion of stakeholders leads to ongoing collective action.
  • Reports to monitor technical interventions according to indicators.