Resources for Evaluating Evidence-based Programs
To identify effective programs to match your community's needs, the following resources are suggested:
- Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development
- The Coalition for Evidence-based Policy Help Desk and Social Programs That Work
- The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Model Program Guide
- The Office of Justice Programs – CrimeSolutions.gov
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidenced-based Programs and Practices
- Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Please note that when seeking a program for your community, the listing of a given program on one of the above registries should not be considered sufficient information alone to make a program selection decision.
Although each of the above program registries provides helpful information for identifying and selecting effective programs, each registry has established its own criteria for what constitutes sufficient evidence, and some registries may include programs that have not been evaluated using a scientifically rigorous design.
Readers are cautioned to carefully consider ALL of the information provided on a given program, including the outcomes achieved, the risk factors (specific change mechanism) targeted, and the experimental rigor of the evaluation design used. It may also be useful to investigate whether a program of interest appears on multiple registries (and if so, under what classification; e.g. Model vs. Promising).
In addition, please keep in mind that the evaluation evidence of a program’s effectiveness is only ONE aspect that should be considered in making a program adoption decision. Communities should also consider the FIT of a given program – how well it matches the community’s identified needs and underlying risk factors – and the FEASIBILITY of the program – how likely is it that the community has the resources to implement and sustain the program with sufficient quality and fidelity. Even a model program may not be effective if it is not well-matched to a community’s specific needs, poorly implemented, or not sustained.
Please contact us if you would like assistance in navigating the research evidence or selecting the right program for your community.