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A Road Map to Implementing Evidence-Based Programs

Page 16 of 24

A road sign depicting change. Along the straight line, the words Fidelity appear. Along the curve part, the word Adaptation appears.

Two especially important concepts introduced earlier in the section on implementation language are program fidelity and program adaptation. It is common for an organization to decide to "adapt" a program at the time of selection (that is, change it to fit its needs) rather than plan to implement the program with fidelity (that is, as it was designed by the program developer). Typically, organizations want to change either (1) the program's content or (2) the mode of delivery.

You may choose to adapt a program for a variety of reasons, such as

  • Differences in the target population: for example, your organization may be looking for a program suitable for a Latino population and find a good program that is not specifically targeted to Latinos; you might consider adjusting the program to serve that community
  • Issues with complexity or ease of use: for example, a teacher may want to deliver a certain classroom-based program, but class time is not long enough
  • Potential barriers to implementation such as time, money, resources, or accessing the target population
  • Lack of perceived efficacy, relevance, or acceptance of the program
  • Lack of understanding of what makes the program work

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