Discussing Considerations for Sustainability and Scale Up

Next phases of the MHP-IF and the desired future for many projects is scale up. But how do we get there? How do we ensure that interventions are scalable and that the groundwork for sustaining and scaling promising approaches is laid throughout the lifecycle of projects? This session explored pathways for scaling up innovations and impact. It blended theory and lived experience and a mix of formats. Building on the presentation on scaling up by Mark Cabaj, the session involved a panel of diverse case examples, including some from the previous Innovation Strategy, synthesis of a few main messages from the case examples, and small group discussions for participants to explore applications to their work.

Key messages

    • Scaling up is an ongoing adaptive process
    • ‘What’ is scaled is trickier than we may think; considering options for this is an essential and under-developed part of the scaling process (e.g., is it a program model, a set of principles)
    • Context matters a lot; almost all original innovations have to be adapted to unique contexts in which they are adopted
    • Evidence matters; questions remain about what evidence is ‘good enough’ and what evidence is needed, by whom and when
    • Strong relationships are key


    • Mark Cabaj, President, Here to There Consulting Inc
    • Claire Crooks, Professor, Western University
    • Kathryn Scharf, Chief Program Officer, Community Food Centres Canada
    • Mariette Chartier, Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba
    • Karla Tait, Mental Wellness Manager and Taylor Behn-Tsakoza, Life Promotion for All My Relations Youth Advisory Committee Member, BC First Nations Health Authority

Small group facilitators

    • Mark Cabaj, Mariette Chartier, Claire Crooks, Alexandra Fortier, Andrea LaMarre, Ryan Moyer, Leslie Payne, Kathryn Scharf, Andrea Simpson, Laura Struik, Trish van Katwyk, Susan Watt

Resources related to this session


January 27, 2021