You've Shown the Program Model Is Effective

Now What?

Published In: New Directions for Youth Development, v. 2014, no. 141, Spring 2014, p. 95-105

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2014

by Phyllis L. Ellickson

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Rigorous tests of theory-based programs require faithful implementation. Otherwise, lack of results might be attributable to faulty program delivery, faulty theory, or both. However, once the evidence indicates the model works and merits broader dissemination, implementation issues do not fade away. How can developers enhance the likelihood that the program will be delivered as designed and thus get results close to what was possible under controlled conditions? How can they address program weaknesses without undermining conceptual integrity? What role can they play in making the program visible and attractive to institutional adopters? This chapter uses field experience from a theory-based program, Project ALERT, to suggest possible strategies for enhancing program attractiveness to potential adopters and users, facilitating program fidelity while maintaining room for adaptation and taking a program to scale.

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