Implementing an effective prevention education strategy requires planning, coordination, and a commitment to excellence among all involved. We’ve developed the Too Good Implementation Center to provide step-by-step guidance as you plan your efforts to prevent substance use and promote the development of a resilient student body in your school community. Presented as a comprehensive five-part guide, each phase introduces the process of implementing your prevention strategy with fidelity to the program model. In the first chapter of this blog series, we reviewed the Exploration Phase of Implementation. The purpose of the Exploration Phase is to define program goals and document desired outcomes as well as identify an effective Evidence-Based Program to produce the targeted outcomes.
The steps taken at this point are particularly critical in the pursuit of a high fidelity implementation as it is in this phase that the staff, protocols, and delivery locations will be readied
Following the Exploration Phase, including the completion of a needs assessment, selecting a program to implement, and acquiring program materials, the work begins to ready the Installation Phase of the implementation process. It is at this second phase that preparations are made for the launch of your prevention education program and the process of building the system and staff capacity to support a high fidelity installation is established.
In an intervention delivered with high fidelity, the facilitators remain faithful to the program design, adhering closely to the program’s model for delivery methods and activities, intensity and dosage, and core components throughout the implementation. The steps taken at this point are particularly critical in the pursuit of a high fidelity implementation as it is in this phase that the staff, protocols, and delivery locations will be readied for successful program delivery.
To achieve these high quality implementation goals, the structural components of program delivery including site and staff readiness, communication and training protocols, and data collection and quality assurance strategies must be established early and communicated to all stakeholders. Primary objectives of implementation teams formed in the Installation Phase include determining school priorities, assessing and addressing the readiness and engagement of stakeholders, and making plans for data collection at the delivery site level. Additional planning at this phase includes assessing potential barriers and establishing methods to overcome challenges as they arise.
Soliciting “buy in” at this stage also supports readiness and an ongoing commitment among stakeholders to ensure seamless program delivery and positive student outcomes. Doing so will ensure that each person involved in program implementation is equipped with the support and resources to deliver the program effectively and with the needs of stakeholders in mind. It will also establish supportive implementation norms and a culture of commitment to the established procedures in the implementation plan.
At this phase of implementation, delivery teams are trained, support systems are put in place for a smooth and successful implementation, and delivery sites are equipped with program delivery materials. With the implementation team communicating effectively and structural components in effect, you’ll be ready for your initial program implementation.
Next in our series, we’ll explore the Initial Implementation Phase, the next chapter in our five-part series, to inform the planning and execution of your outcomes-driven prevention education strategy.