This section provides Joining Forces’ definition and vision of scale and the scale up process.

I. The Importance of Adaptation and Scale to Joining Forces

National commitments in countries eager to end violence against children (EVAC) have grown rapidly since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. Increasing efforts have been made to confront the pandemic of violence against children in a focused and coordinated way. To solidify and accelerate this momentum, six of the world’s largest international organizations have come together in the partnership known as Joining Forces.

The daily work of Joining Forces partners is to develop, test and implement EVAC prevention and response initiatives in partnership with local communities, organizations and governments.

This Quick Start Guide to the Adaptation and Scale Up of Programmes will help partners incorporate a “beginning with the end in mind” mindset, to consider adaptation and scale up principles throughout their work. This guide will help Joining Forces partners select promising, scalable interventions, understand what to adapt and maintain, apply adaptive management techniques to implementation and monitor and evaluate their efforts. A unique value of this guide is to help Joining Forces partners coordinate with each other in the scale up process, while systematically keeping children’s voices and participation at the core. As Joining Forces’ theory of change highlights, children are not only most affected by exclusion and violence but are also critical to redressing this situation.

Throughout the process of adaptation and scale process children’s participation and guidance are critical to ensuring that scaled interventions/activities are meaningful and sustainable. The guide builds on the understanding that adapting interventions for new and changing contexts drives scale, and it provides a set of priority tools for carefully adapting interventions while retaining core mechanisms that make them successful. Application of this guide will help to set a vision and chart a course among partners for selecting and scaling proven interventions.

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II. Joining Forces’ Definition of, and Vision for, Scale

Each of Joining Forces’ partners has extensive experience in successful programming that contributes to the end of violence against children (EVAC). Most partners have also met with success in championing those successful programs (in some form) in other parts of their portfolio. Some may approach it in terms of intentional “scale,” but for others may be considered “doing what works in more places.” The Joining Forces Quick Start Guide to the Adaptation and Scale Up of Programmes seeks to use partners’ prior experiences as a starting point to making sustainable scale up both easier to do and more systematic. The Guide does this by providing some simple tools that help local Joining Forces teams create a more collaborative and systematic approach to scale. But to “start at the beginning,” let us consider some definitions of scale and Joining Forces’ distinctive priorities in the area of EVAC before setting out a model of the scaling process.

Many governments, donors, program implementers and other stakeholders have been engaged in scaling (in some form) for several decades now. They offer a range of perspectives and definitions that highlight different dimensions of scale. But while the literature on scale comes from many sources, most agree on a definition of scale summarized by ExpandNet. They define scaling as

Deliberate efforts to increase the impact of innovations successfully tested in pilot or experimental projects so as to benefit more people and to foster policy and program development on a lasting basis.”

Note that the words in bold emphasize critical elements in genuine scale-up. Scale up is not accident—it is deliberate. Its goals are intended to increase programs’ ability to better meet practical ends. Those programs are not simply what some people think are useful but are empirically demonstrated to be effective. Naturally, scale up expands the number of people who are benefited by project outcomes, but importantly, these benefits are not shortterm, but last over time.

Joining Forces’ vision for scale-up builds on this definition by adding its own priorities. These priorities—reflected throughout this guide— include amplifying children’s voices, supporting social accountability, and working across and with local partners:

Amplifying and supporting children’s voices

Working together, Joining Forces seeks to assist local actors and champions to ensure that programs and policies to end violence against children are informed by children’s perspectives. During the development of core documents and guidance, Joining Forces has identified ways for children to add value and play a significant role in scale up. Since the inception of Joining Forces we have committed to ensuring safeguarded and meaningful child participation as a unique and standard aspect of our work. Joining Forces has developed tools1 and policy guidance to help us to do this together, safely and successfully. Tools and guidance must also reflect the heterogeneity of children’s experience as it is deeply affected by their gender, status, ethnicity, religion, disability, and a host of other factors.

Supporting social accountability

With a strong footprint at the local level, the six members of Joining Forces can support social accountability as a powerful lever for promoting sustainable scale by empowering local actors and holding government accountable to resource their commitments. Joining Forces’ vision of scale sees government as one of the most critical (but not necessarily only) vehicle for scale, and champions the role of civil society in mobilizing and empowering citizen voice and action.

Collaborating across sectors and in coordination with local partners

Joining Forces understands that scale up can happen through our own combined organizational strength, through governments as well as other institutions and structures – such as religious organizations, media, academic, businesses and of course, other civil society actors. Scale up can also take place by developing the capacities critical for scale, not just scaling specific interventions. All the tools in this Adaptation and Scale guide will help country teams identify what is needed to ensure scaled up initiatives deliver optimal outcomes for children and uphold their rights. Joining Forces efforts for children should lead long term to a governance system and protective environment that is fit for children and responds to their needs and concerns as children, not just future adult voters.

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III. The Joining Forces Scale-up Process

If this is what “scale up” means and this is our Joining Forces vision for scale up, how does it happen? This can be summarize in the Joining Forces Scale-up Process model below that has three major components:

At the core of the model are local Joining Forces team members. These are the individuals from the Joining Forces member organizations that have come together to scale an intervention/ activity. In each country, for each potential scale up project, this team will draw from the unique capacities and needs of local Joining Forces staff.

Moving outwards, the second component of the model includes five adaptation and scaling processes that the Joining Forces team is responsible for overseeing: 1) selection of the candidate intervention/activity to scale, 2) thinking about how to adapt that intervention/ activity to new potential sites and populations, 3) selecting the benchmarks to measure progress in scaling, 4) monitoring and documenting needed adaptations and scale up progress, and 5) Coordinating and managing scaling alongside intervention/activity implementation.

Note that these processes are not linear but iterative. Selection of an intervention/activity to scale may prove too logistically complicated to import into the local context. Interventions/ activities that may, in fact, be easy to adapt may not be easy to manage or monitor, which may require the local team to revisit their selection process. Essential, core elements of a proven intervention or activity may not translate to a new site and therefore may jeopardize fidelity, etc.

Finally, both the local Joining Forces team and the adaptation and scaling processes lie within the outer ring which represents the environment in which EVAC happens. The EVAC environment consists of any political, structural, or normative element that—as the double-headed arrows suggest—will constantly influence, and be influenced by, the team’s decisions throughout the process. Examples here include Joining Forces’ global learning agenda, stakeholder and children’s own priorities, child safeguarding practices, funding and human resource availability and national plans and priorities.

Figure 1: Joining Forces Scale-up Process

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