By Jenny Perlman Robinson jperlman@brookings.edu and Molly Curtiss mcurtiss@brookings.edu

Millions Learning, a project of the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution, focuses on the question of how to scale quality education for all children and youth. In the second phase of the project, CUE is launching Real-time Scaling Labs in partnership with local institutions in a number of countries to generate more evidence and provide practical recommendations around the process of scaling in global education, encouraging a stronger link between research and practice. These labs are not physical spaces, but rather a process established by CUE and partner institutions to learn from, support, and document existing efforts to scale interventions focused on improving children’s learning as they unfold in real-time.

Over the past six months, CUE has developed a general framework and approach for implementing the labs based on adaptive programming and continuous learning methodologies and feedback from global col- leagues. Each individual lab will tailor this overarching framework with local partners to their specific context. The lab process involves a series of in-person and virtual convenings with diverse stakeholders around an education initiative in the process of scaling. During the multi-year lab process, participants will periodically convene to identify scaling goals, develop and/or refine scaling action plans, and engage in a participatory and iterative process of implementing the scaling plan, reflecting on progress and making course corrections along the way. Throughout the lab process, CUE will draw from relevant research, global experience, and external expertise to provide practical recommendations, as well as observe and document the scaling process as it unfolds to help inform future efforts.

While each individual lab will focus primarily on its own education initiative(s) and the challenges and opportunities it faces in bringing that initiative to scale, CUE will also foster opportunities for cross communication, knowledge sharing, and peer-to-peer learning between the labs, through virtual meetings and webinars and occasional in-person convenings. Beyond testing the Millions Learning framework and exploring various scaling pathways and approaches, in each of the labs CUE will also focus on education alliances, drawing lessons around mobilizing diverse actors from public, private, and social sectors to align around shared incentives and outcomes; and flexible adaptation, looking at the critical question of adapting and scaling an effective approach across contexts.

CUE is currently planning or in discussions to launch Real-time Scaling Labs with partners in a number of locations, including but not limited to Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Jordan, Tanzania, and the U.S. city of Philadelphia. CUE is also in the process of hiring a Project Director for the team, to co-develop and manage the design and plans for the Millions Learning project. Please share the vacancy widely with your networks and do not hesitate to reach out to Jenny Perlman Robinson to discuss the project further (jperlman@brookings.edu).

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