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As the deadline for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development draws closer, we still face major challenges in the achievement of SDG 4 on quality education. Improving learning at scale is a matter of urgency.


In an effort to support governments, funders and education organisations to scale up effective education initiatives, VVOB joined forces with Brookings Center for Universal Education, Educate!, Management Systems International (MSI), Pratham, and STiR Education to develop the Education Scalability Checklist.

Scroll down to download the Education Scalability Checklist!

Meet us at the the Global CoP on Scaling Development Outcomes: Education Working Group (25 March) where we present the Education Scalability Checklist

Why this Checklist?

If we want to achieve widespread educational effectiveness, we need to prevent every school and every teacher to “reinvent the wheel”. Locally effective education innovations already exist, the more pressing challenge is that of scaling them up to different contexts, all the while sustaining the shifts in practice, policy and structures these improvements require.


There are some hurdles on the path to scaling that are inherent to the education sector:

  • Effective learning is a highly personal issue. There are many individual and contextual factors that impact learning for schools and teachers to reckon with in adapting effective practices from elsewhere to their own setting.
  • A change in school or district leadership, in Ministry staff or a Minister of Education, can be enough to sweep away carefully tested solutions. Sustaining and institutionalising innovations in education is difficult.

Effective scaling in education

And yet, there are plenty examples of large-scale progress in terms of getting children to school and learning. This suggests that some obstacles originate either with the innovation itself or with the roll-out process of the innovation. Policymakers, practitioners and funders who are interested in improving learning at scale should be able to detect these types of hurdles and, of course, remedy them. The Education Scalability Checklist (ESC) is designed to support this process. The accompanying User Guide supports the application of the checklist as productively as possible.


Ideally, the ESC will be used first to guide the initial design of new education initiatives and then to persistently drive forward the scaling process.

For feedback or more information on the Education Scalability Checklist, please contact us at

The Education Scalability Checklist: a collaborative effort

Disclaimer: The Education Scalability Checklist and accompanying User Guide draw upon resources and guidance from MSI. They are inspired by MSI (2016). ‘Scaling Up – From Vision to Large-Scale Change: A Management Framework for Practitioners'. Arlington, VA: MSI.


Referencing the Education Scalability Checklist:

Brookings CUE, Educate!, MSI, Pratham, STiR Education & VVOB (2021). Education Scalability Checklist. [Online] Available at:


Referencing the User Guide to the Education Scalability Checklist:

VVOB (2021). User Guide to the Education Scalability Checklist. Brussels, Belgium: VVOB.