What is Adaptability and Scalability?

The New ABC project focuses on producing a range of innovative and effective actions towards the educational, cultural and social inclusion and well-being of immigrant children and youth through co-creative and participatory approaches. In order to achieve this goal in a sustainable way, one major aim has to do with testing the adaptability and scalability of the pilot actions in different project countries to ascertain their replicability in different contexts during and after the end of the project. All nine activity-based pilot actions that encompass the project have been designed with potential for replication, and should therefore be adaptable to pursue similar objectives in varying conditions and situations.

The main methodology for ensuring this replicability within the project has been the retesting of each pilot action by a different team and in a different country, immediately after the completion of the first piloting phase. Monitoring and supervising this transition and replication has been the specific focus of WP5, with the following aims:

  • Mentoring and assessing smooth processes of adaptability from pilot to repilot actions;
  • Assessing both upward and downward pathways to scalability; 
  • Determining the hindering and promoting factors regarding adaptability and scalability;
  • Developing strategies for the successful implementation of the pilot actions at different scales.

With these objectives in mind, in this section we intend to provide a clear definition of how adaptability and scalability have been conceptualised and developed in the New ABC project; which are the key issues emerging in these processes; and their overall relevance in relation to promoting long-term sustainable and replicable research-informed actions for their uptake in diverse local and (inter)national contexts and at different scales.

Adaptability in the New ABC project refers to the many possible axes at play when adjusting and replicating an activity-based action in a new geographical, cultural, socio-political and learning context, guided by co-creation and participatory action-research (PAR) approaches. These principles put specific stakeholders, and especially children and vulnerable groups, at the centre of the actions’ (re)creation and implementation in each specific setting, allowing them to intervene and often lead in the process according to their specific circumstances, needs and whims.

Thus, co-creation involves working together through open-ended tasks and activities that will never be straightforward, identical or predictable from one implementation site to another, but rather original and ad-hoc to the context and agents involved.

Closely related to adaptability, scalability refers to upward or downward transformations of particular actions from pilot to repilot, expanding or reducing the number and scope of stakeholders/institutions/participants involved in each implementation.

Along with the key role played by co-creation and PAR, processes of adaptability and scalability in the New ABC project have also been informed by differences in educational systems, legal frameworks, language policy, profiles and needs of particular stakeholders, and by the demographic, socio-economic and cultural characteristics of the participants involved in each case, among many other practical and contextual factors. These indicators provide the basis for the description of the specific processes of adaptability and scalability undergone in each of the nine repilot actions, which can be found in their corresponding handbooks. These descriptions can offer guidance for individuals interested in replicating certain actions in the future. They highlight critical moments or aspects, either before or during implementation, where decisions regarding scalability and adaptability are more likely to arise.

Along with identifying those features and stages where specific attention must be placed in the (re)implementation of each action, the thorough analysis of processes of adaptability and scalability allows us to highlight and share some key considerations and suggestions to ensure the proper replicability of these actions in other contexts without losing their original ethos and essential aims.