This guide describes a framework that identifies how organizations can improve both their readiness to scale an intervention and the intervention’s readiness to be scaled. This helps to position the intervention services to improve outcomes for a larger number of participants. Each checklist in the SCALER provides summary scores to reflect how ready an intervention and organization might be for scaling.

This guide was designed to help organizations scale their interventions successfully. The SCALER framework includes checklists that organizations can use to determine if they have: 

  1. Evidence of their intervention’s effectiveness that meets industry standards for rigorous evaluation research 
  2. The procedures and processes in place that will enable them to successfully scale an intervention

The eight checklists included in this report include:

  • Checklist 1. Identifying an effective intervention
  • Checklist 2. Building evidence of effectiveness
  • Checklist 3. Specifying the intervention
  • Checklist 4. Defining the target population
  • Checklist 5. Establishing implementation supports
  • Checklist 6. Having an enabling context
  • Checklist 7. Establishing an implementation infrastructure
  • Checklist 8. Summary of scaling readiness

When reading this guide, consider that:

  • The SCALER framework is based on successful scaling principles that have emerged from implementation science research.
  • The checklists in this guide were developed from rubrics used to assess AmeriCorps grantees’ evidence of effectiveness for funded interventions and readiness to scale.
  • The discussion and checklists in this guide were developed for AmeriCorps grantees to use when scaling their funded interventions, though they may also be useful to a broader audience.

For more information, download the checklists.

Scaling Evidence-Based Models (SEBM) Project

 The Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) initiated the Scaling Evidence-Based Models project to support the scaling of effective interventions. This guide is part of ORE’s Scaling Evidence-Based Models project, which includes additional resources that contribute to the study and application of scaling effective interventions. Below are additional scaling resources:


  • Scaling an Intervention: Recommendations and Resources: The guide provides five key recommendations that will help funders like AmeriCorps, other government agencies, and philanthropic organizations identify which funded interventions are effective, enhance their knowledge base on scaling them, and pursue scaling.

  • How to Fully Describe an Intervention: This guide is intended to help practitioners to thoroughly describe their intervention and communicate the following to potential funders or stakeholders.

  • Build Organizational Capacity to Implement an Intervention: This guide will help practitioners prepare to implement their desired intervention through building organizational capacity, which involves establishing the organizational structure, workforce, resources, processes, and culture to enable success.

  • How to Structure Implementation Supports: This guide will help practitioners develop formal strategies (also known as implementation supports) to help consistently deliver an intervention as it was designed, which is especially helpful for organizations scaling an intervention and assessing implementation fidelity.

  • Making the Most of Data: This guide will help practitioners maximize the use of their intervention data to help their organizations improve program implementation and provide evidence to funders about effectiveness.

  • What Makes for a Well-Designed, Well-Implemented Impact Study: This guide is intended to help practitioners ensure that their evaluators produce high-quality impact studies.

  • Baseline Equivalence: What it is and Why it is Needed: This guide is designed to help practitioners and researchers work together to design an impact study with baseline equivalence and in turn learning how to determine if an impact study is likely to produce meaningful results.

  • Scaling Programs with Research Evidence and Effectiveness (SPREE): This article focuses on how the foundations can apply the SPREE process and provides insights into conditions that can help identify and support effective interventions that are ready to be scaled.

  • Scaling Evidence-Based Models: Document Review Rubrics: The guide is a two-part rubric for systematically reviewing documents that will help practitioners to identify the critical components of intervention effectiveness and describe plans for scaling the effective intervention.


Case Studies:

Further information

Best Practice Dissemination, AmeriCorps Research Guidance to Scale Programming
Implementing Organization
AmeriCorps Office of Research and Evaluation Commissioned Report
AmeriCorps Program(s)
AmeriCorps State and National
Social Innovation Fund
Office of Research and Evaluation
Outcome Category
Disaster assistance provided
Financial literacy
School readiness
K-12 success
Post-secondary educational support
Energy efficiency
At-risk ecosystems
Awareness of environmental issues
Green jobs
Aging in place
Obesity and food
Access to care
Veterans and military families served
Nonprofit development
Improving AmeriCorps
Study Type(s)
Review or Meta-analysis
Study Design(s)
Published Year