A Penn State Applied Research Center

Jill Schulte from the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness giving a presentation at the Blueprint Conference

The Clearinghouse Director, Dr. Daniel Perkins, and Jill Schulte, M.Ed (photographed above), an Implementation Specialist and the Team Lead for the Clearinghouse Technical Assistance team, presented at this year’s Blueprints for Violence Conference held in Denver, Colorado.

Their presentation, titled Implementation Quality: What is it and how do we achieve it? was intended to introduce attendees to the Clearinghouse and to help them better understand ways to improve program implementation. Some of the key talking points are described below:

  • Evidence-Based Programs (EBP) are programs that demonstrate impact on outcomes of interest through application of rigorous scientific research methods (i.e., experimental and quasi-experimental designs) that allow for causal inference.
  • Implementation Quality refers to delivering an innovation’s core components with fidelity in order to reach the innovation’s desired outcomes.
    • Core Components are the principles of a program, intervention, or practice that are essential in producing the desired outcomes, and cannot be adapted without affecting the intended outcome.
  • Fidelity vs. Adaptation
    • Fidelity refers to program delivery that is done in the way the program was designed, with the correct protocols and tools, and with properly trained staff.
    • Adaptation, or program drift, refers to the adaptions to programs and their implementations that naturally occur in varying settings, with varying audiences, and under varying circumstances.
    • To increase the likelihood of positive outcomes, we need to maximize fidelity while controlling for program drift. Adaptations made to the program should not affect core components, otherwise we are increasing the likelihood of weaker outcomes.
  • Factors that Influence Implementation Quality
    • Community-Wide or Societal Factors – e.g., scientific theory, political influences, funding, and perceived need
    • Practitioner Characteristics – e.g., perceived benefits, self-efficacy, and skill proficiency
    • Characteristics of the Program – e.g., fit with local setting and adaptability
    • Factors Related to the Organization Hosting the Program – e.g., work climate, openness to innovation, shared vision, coordination with other agencies, communication among staff and supervisors, leadership abilities, having a program champion, and administrative support
    • Factors Specific to the Implementation Process – e.g., successful training and ongoing technical assistance

To view the slides from this presentation click here. To learn more about the Clearinghouse, implementation quality, or for help finding, implementing, or evaluating programs intended to benefit military families, please contact the Clearinghouse Technical Assistance team who may be reached through live chat, phone 1-877-382-9185, or email Monday through Friday from 9 AM until 5 PM ET.