Some terms are used differently across countries around the world. The Joining Forces Guide to the Adaptation and Scale Up of Programmes uses the definitions below.

Here’s what we mean when we say:


The intentional process of making modifications to a model activity so it can be transferred from an original model site to a target site or sites.

Adaptive management

A style of activity management that emphasizes continuous collection of information to flag needed improvements and facilitate adaptation.

Child engagement

A distinctive feature and high priority for Joining Forces approach to adaptation and scale is including children in every step of program implementation, adaptation, and scale. This engagement can take several forms, some of which are suggested in this guide, but others may be found in the citations or the compendium that follows the body of the guide.

Core elements

The elements or pieces of a model activity that are shown to be necessary to the activity’s success and should always be present during scale up. Core elements may take different shapes in different contexts, but they must meet the same goals.

Environment of violence against children

The context of ending violence against children in your country, including things like social norms, policies, historical events, economic conditions, and everything else that has shaped the problem of violence against children in your country.

Evidence-based approach

The mindset and commitment that ensures that decisions about adaptation and scale are supported by research findings rather than opinions and preferences. As noted throughout the guide, an evidence-based approach is critical selecting an activity that merits adaptation and scale. Any commitment to evidence must consider the quality of evidence. Some kinds of evidence are more solid, relevant, and persuasive than others.


The degree to which the implementation of an activity at a target site includes all the elements proven to be effective at the model site where it was first demonstrated.

Horizontal scale up

The way of ensuring that a violence against children prevention activity is distributed more broadly across geographic areas and populations.

Implementing Partner 

AJoining Forces member (or a local partner contracted by a Joining Forces member) that is responsible for implementing a ending violence against children-related activity.

Intervention/activity or violence against children prevention intervention/activity

Any form of ending violence against children work that can be adapted or scaled. Intervention/activities may be practices, components of a project, entire projects, innovations, or programs.

Model activity

An activity that has been demonstrated to be effective and merits scaling up to other sites.

Model sites

The specific context and location where a model activity has demonstrated its effectiveness.

Peripheral elements

The elements of activities that can be easily adapted to fit the model activity to new sites and contexts. These elements are not considered core.

Scale up

The strategic and intentional process of spreading a model activity to new sites and/or new populations in a sustainable way through both horizontal and vertical scaling.


An individual or group that is personally and/or professionally committed to ending violence against children and has an interest in promoting violence against children prevention activities. These stakeholders may be government actors, local community leaders, implementing partners, service providers, donors, and researchers.

Target sites

The contexts and locations where Joining Forces may wish to scale up evidencebased model activities.

Vertical scale up

The way of ensuring that an ending violence against children prevention activity is integrated into a country’s policy, budgetary, administrative, training, and service delivery systems.