Willing, Able -> Ready: Basics and Policy Implications of Readiness as a Key Component for Scaling up Implementation of Evidence-Based Interventions. Directions for Future Research

09/01/2014

Although scholarly work has identified several core components of readiness and this brief presented some policy implications, gaps still exist in the field’s understanding of how readiness relates to scaling up and implementing EBIs. Future research directions could include (a) how to measure the relative importance of motivation, general capacity, and intervention-specific capacity in grant applications (and their subcomponents) and (b) how to understand differences in readiness based on scale of implementation (e.g., communities vs. states) and different types of organizations (e.g., child welfare vs. substance abuse treatment providers, faith-based coalitions vs. not-for-profit organizations, small businesses vs. national providers, or urban vs. rural settings). One future direction identified by our federal coauthors involves the analysis of performance data (e.g., Government Performance and Results Act indicators) collected in cross-site, national, and local evaluations, and how readiness constructs can be investigated using these data. This type of program data, which is widely available, should be assessed for its quality. If the quality of the data is confirmed, they could be used along with quantitative and qualitative data collected during the implementation and evaluation of an EBI to increase our understanding of how different aspects of readiness play out in practice. A second future direction involves developing some readiness criteria among different programs that could be useful to explore differences in readiness and its importance in the successful implementation of EBIs. For example, future work could identify criteria for working with communities that have limited infrastructure—in other words, criteria that communities should meet before being selected for implementing an EBI. Based on information gleaned from several federal staff with expertise in this area, these criteria might include (a) strong leadership support from a senior and midlevel staff member, (b) alignment of the intervention with their strategic plan, and (c) evidence of organizational sustainability (e.g., resources are in place for the organization to function for the next 5 years).

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