What Does It Take? How Federal Initiatives Can Support the Implementation of Evidence-Based Programs to Improve Outcomes for Adolescents

Allison Metz, Bianca Albers
Over the last 20 years, there has been a growing emphasis on developing and identifying evidence-based programs and practices for children and families and within the last decade an increasing number of federally funded initiatives have been dedicated to replicating and scaling evidence-based programs with the hope of achieving socially meaningful impact. However, only recently have efforts to promote high-fidelity implementation been given the attention needed to ensure evidence-based practices are used as intended and generate the outcomes they were designed to produce. In this article, we propose that the wide-scale implementation of evidence-based practices requires: (1) careful assessment and selection of the “what”; (2) a stage-based approach that provides adequate time and resources for planning and installation activities; (3) the co-creation of a visible infrastructure by a triad of key stakeholders including funders and policymakers, program developers, and implementing sites; and (4) the use of data to guide decision-making and foster curiosity into continuous improvement among grantees. Each of these strategies is explored in greater detail through the lens of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program, a $100 million initiative overseen by the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Metz, A., & Albers, B. (2014). What Does It Take? How Federal Initiatives Can Support the Implementation of Evidence-Based Programs to Improve Outcomes for Adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 92-96.