Investing in What Works (IWW) Project Forum Introduction

Watch and listen to this introductory video where key themes of the Investing in What Works (IWW) Forum are highlighted including implementing multiple evidence-based programs in one place and supporting evidence-based programs through training and technical assistance.

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Ajay Chaudry – We have important goals for the next two days, mainly to explore the most relevant issues out there for how we expand the use of evidence-based practices in the real world, and how we apply these to working with vulnerable children and youth, and to identify ways that the federal agency serving children and youth can support evidence-based practices and evidence informed interventions.

Sarah Oberlander – We wanted to put together this meeting because the um, the value of bringing these different groups of stakeholders together, so you have federal staff, academics, researchers, all different kinds of experts. The interchange of ideas between those different groups, we found really valuable in the past and we are hoping it can help move our work another step forward.

David Osher – Working for a community is very complex, people are doing lots of different things. That includes lots of evidence based interventions in many cases but also lots of other things that people are doing to try to do their job and make life better for other people.

Gene Hall – Part of what happens in a multiple adoption design is, we got to run what happens with each initiative individually, but we also got to think a lot more about the interactions between them.

Gene Hall – We’re dealing with major changes and you can’t just go from the old to the new. So we need a bridge to help people move across, to learn about the new and gradually become skilled in doing it.

Thaddeus Ferber – So, you actually do need a discipline to figuring out which things to do, in which order, and how they compliment each other.

Celene Domintrovich – They all focus more on technical assistance and support and some overlap with the important features of the context in which these programs need – the kind of supports that's needed and the kind of factors in the context that influence that process.

Arthur Evans – I think the key messages from my talk were, number one, that we have to take a systemic approach to evidence based practices. We have to look at multiple levels within the system, ugh, and look at how those levels change overtime, over the course of an implementation.

Karen Blase – We not only need to pay attention to best evidence, um, but effectiveness, but we need to pay equal attention to how we do the work, who’s available to the work, what infrastructures are going to house it, the best evidence related to how to change the behavior of well meaning human service professionals.

Abe Wandersman – The question is what does readiness mean and what can we do to get organizations more ready.

Abe Wandersman – So in terms of readiness we are talking about three major elements, the general capacity of the organization, the innovation specific capacity and the motivation. And then we’re talking about a system of support that works with those organizations at their level.

Martha Moorehouse – I think there’s a lot of tools and resources getting developed out there and are worth thinking about how we share those and have common ways of accessing that information.

David Osher – I think these two days offer them an opportunity to think more about it both in reaction to a set of organized presentations, but then to also listen and interact with each other as well as with practitioners in the field as well as with philanthropist who are there in the field as well.