The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS or AmeriCorps) funded Mathematica to conduct the Scaling Evidence-Based Models (SEBM) project to gain insights about which of the interventions funded by CNCS showed evidence of effectiveness and might be ready to scale.
Through programs such as AmeriCorps, CNCS seeks to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. The SEBM project helped to further CNCS’s mission by generating practical knowledge about successfully scaling effective interventions.
Corporation for National and Community Service
As part of the SEBM project, Mathematica designed and implemented the Scaling Programs with Research Evidence and Effectiveness (SPREE) process, which provides a comprehensive methodology for CNCS and other funders to use when they want to help organizations scale effective interventions. Mathematica applied the SPREE process to the AmeriCorps 2015–2019 and Social Innovation Fund 2010–2014 interventions funded by CNCS. Using a two-part annual review of CNCS-funded interventions, the project identified interventions with the strongest evidence of effectiveness and provided CNCS with an understanding of why other interventions did not meet criteria for rigorous research. The SEBM project also conducted an in-depth process study that collected rich information from three CNCS-funded grantees and their partners about their experiences in scaling evidence-based interventions.
In addition, Mathematica developed a series of guides for practitioners to help them build evidence of effectiveness for their interventions and enhance their readiness to scale them. One such guide introduces the Scaling Checklist: Assessing your Level of Evidence and Readiness (SCALER) framework and tool. The SCALER consists of a series of checklists that organizations can complete to help them identify the strengths, weaknesses, and gaps of the interventions they hope to scale, as well as identify potential ways to strengthen their interventions as needed. Organizations can use the SCALER to increase their likelihood of successfully scaling an intervention that increases the desired outcomes of participants.
Evidence & Insights From This Project
Scaling Programs with Research Evidence and Effectiveness (SPREE)
This journal article describes a process called SPREE — Scaling Programs with Research Evidence and Effectiveness — that can help funders and their grantees scale effective interventions successfully.Learn More