Scaling Up from the Start with Rare’s Fish Forever Program

We helped Rare achieve scale ambitions for its global fish conservation initiative – Fish Forever.

A Washington DC-based conservation organization, Rare Inc. in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund and the University of California, Santa Barbara is launching Fish Forever, a global fish conservation program. The client partnership has developed a fishery management system that pairs no-take zones (or reserves, where fishing is not permitted) with rights-based management of local fishing grounds.


Fish Forever is designed to sustain small-scale fisheries, improve livelihoods and increase biodiversity. To do so, Rare and its partners must develop the capacity to scale its near-shore fisheries intervention from initial pilot programs in Belize, Brazil, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines, to a nationally and globally meaningful level. Rare recognized that it is not enough to know that a program “works.” To be a globally transformative, it must work at a large scale. Rare also recognized that good ideas for social impact do not automatically scale, so their approach is to develop the program with “scale in mind” from the start.

We worked closely with senior leadership and the Fish Forever Scale Team to reach critical decisions on the meaning and scope of scale and options for scalable delivery of the program. We also developed a comprehensive Report and Scale Testing Framework for the Fish Forever five pilot countries. The Scale Testing Framework included working hypotheses, variances to be tested, test methodologies, as well as recommendations for next steps. Rare and the Fish Forever Scale Team will be making future programmatic revisions based on scale test findings including a more streamlined, scalable version of Fish Forever.