Evidence-based programs must also be implemented with fidelity to their design in order to deliver the outcomes policymakers and citizens expect.
Pew has identified four "key" steps government can―and I would argue must―take to improve their implementation of evidence-based programs; they also briefly explain the reasons for taking the particular action.
- Identify Needs and Goals, Then Select Proven Programs
- Align Policies and Processes
- Train Personnel
- Monitor Performance
I would add several other "must-do's":
- Understand the difference between evidence-based and best practices. They are not the same.
- Focus on fidelity. Often during implementation, changes are made and these can impact the effectiveness of the intervention. Have a plan for addressing changes. Responses could range from requiring program to implement as designed and helping organizations do that to de-funding (if using a non-government entity to implement).
- Fund independent assessment and evaluation.
- Fund fidelity checks if that is a part of the model.
- Fund the program for what the real cost is. Underfunding is not an option with an evidence-based program.