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Evaluating IDRC’s strategy to scale impact

April 27, 2022
An IDRC-commissioned evaluation provides key lessons and considerations for researchers and funders seeking to scale research results for the public good.
Men ride their bicycles past wind turbines at Muppandal wind farm, one of the largest wind farms in Asia.
Panos Pictures/Qilai Shen
Men ride their bicycles past wind turbines at Muppandal wind farm, one of the largest wind farms in Asia.

At IDRC, “scaling impact” means optimizing results in ways that matter most to people and our planet. Scaling our impact is central to the way we work and the research we support.  

IDRC commissioned an evaluation to assess how well scaling was being implemented at the Centre. It   gathered diverse perspectives with the intention of learning from the experiences of the global research community, including other funders and research teams who are leading efforts to scale the impact of their work.  

Key insights of the evaluation, led by On Think Tanks and Southern Hemisphere, include the importance of discussing scaling early on, considering the possible negative impacts of scaling, and paying attention to context and complexity, including barriers and alternatives. The lessons include understanding realistic timelines for sustainable scaling, leveraging flexible funding and synthesis, the importance of diversity and inclusion in scaling equitable impact and the demands of effective coordination of diverse and evolving actors in the scaling process. The results of this evaluation will continue to inform IDRC’s work in the Centre’s Strategy 2030. 

Read a summary of the evaluation report with specific lessons and considerations for researchers and funders  

Read the full evaluation report  

Learn more about IDRC’s Scaling Science initiative    

Visit scalingxchange.org to learn more about actions that researchers from across the Global South have proposed to improve how funders, development agencies, researchers and innovators can work together to scale impact.