Scaling of agricultural, food and other livelihoods innovations is one of the biggest challenges for research and development organizations. One of the key problems is the lack of approaches that can facilitate evidence-based decision making on which activities and partnerships can support scaling of innovation towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Scaling Readiness has been developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Wageningen University (WUR) under the CGIAR research program on Roots Tubers and Banana (RTB). Scaling Readiness provides a 5-Step Approach that iteratively support research, development and donor organizations in the design, implementation and monitoring of impactful and cost-efficient scaling strategies. (see Table below)

Scaling Readiness uses science-based methods to identify and overcome bottlenecks for scaling of innovation. It breaks down innovation packages and analyses its individual technological, policy, market and partnership components along a 9-Level Scaling Readiness Ladder (Figure below). Levels range from low readiness for scaling (Levels 1-4: innovation is idea of which individual components have been tested theoretically), to medium readiness for scaling (Levels 5-7: individual components or innovation package tested in controlled environment), to high readiness for scaling (Levels 8-9: innovation package proven to work in uncontrolled environment). Similarly, Scaling Readiness analyses whether innovation components are commonly-used in scaling locations to inform scal- ing potential. Scaling Readiness builds on the premise that components with low Scaling Readiness obstruct the whole innovation package from scaling. Such infor- mation guides government, public and private scaling partners in designing, implementing and monitoring better scaling strategies.

Scaling Readiness is currently used by R&D organiza- tions in 12 countries covering 4 continents. For more information, please visit or contact Dr. Murat Sartas ( A series of newsletters report on the approach:

  • Newsletter 1: Introduction to Scaling Readiness
  • Newsletter 2: Basic concepts behind Scaling Readiness
  • Newsletter 3: CGIAR Case Studies that have used Scaling Readiness in developing and implementing their Scaling Strategies

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