How should funders assess readiness to implement EBIs with quality?
Funders can use these criteria in several ways to score applicants. Many of the questions and criteria already exist in the problem statement, project design/goals and objectives, management plans, and management capacity sections of funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). Therefore, the questions and criteria could be taken from other sections and included in a new form tied to all federal organizations; they could become a Government Performance and Results Act indicator for organizational functioning. (Readiness would be one part of this.) One suggestion is to use a tiered scoring approach in which different applicant scores are associated with different levels of funding, training and technical assistance support, and evaluation requirements. Each agency should consider the implications for proposal length and overall scoring when adding this type of information to FOAs. (Details in brief, pages 7-10.) How should training and technical assistance (TTA) resources be used to develop implementation readiness?
Training and technical assistance (TTA) providers need to use their limited resources and capacities strategically. Analysis of readiness (specifically motivation, general organizational capacity, and intervention-specific capacity) can help to align the strengths and limitations of a grantee with the types of TTA that are deemed appropriate. Conversely, organizational staff can assess the readiness of their organization to offer different types of support and develop their implementation plan accordingly. If a TTA provider is working with a site for an extended period of time, readiness assessments could be completed several times during a project and two-way conversations between the TTA provider and TTA recipients could inform how to improve different aspects of readiness. (More information in brief, page 11.) How should funders partner with TTA providers and organizations to enhance the readiness of organizations to implement EBIs with quality?
Some organizations with critical needs and who receive federal funding may not currently have the capacity to implement evidence-based interventions with quality. This problem can be addressed by working with these organizations to first build their capacity through a readiness development phase of the initiative. (Specific examples in brief, pages 12-13.)