Federal Criteria for Identifying Effective Programs

The following are some of the common elements among criteria used by federal agencies to review and identify effective drug and violence prevention programs.

Quality of Program Design

 Program goals and objectives are clear and appropriate for the target

 Program content and methods address the needs of and effectively engage
the target population.

 The program's underlying rationale is well-articulated, and its content and
methods are aligned with its goals.

 The program is a complete intervention, rather than a single component (e.g.,
a video, an assembly, a book in the library).

Quality of Research Design

 Program evaluation includes pre- and post-testing with a control or
comparison group.

 Program evaluation includes relevant, reliable, valid, and appropriately
administered outcome measures.

 Data analysis was technically adequate and appropriate.

 Evaluation studies had low rates of participant attrition.

Evidence of Program Efficacy

 The intervention produced positive change in scientifically established risk
and protective factors.

 The intervention reduced or delayed the onset, prevalence, and/or individual
rates of risk behaviors.

 Follow-up measurement provides evidence of sustained program impact.

Capacity for Replication and Dissemination

 The program includes high-quality program materials (e.g., manuals), training,
and technical assistance.

 The program includes tools and procedures to monitor the fidelity of
implementation and evaluate program outcomes.

 The program has been replicated and produced similar positive results, and
these replications have been documented.

 Evaluation findings have been published or accepted for publication by a peer-
reviewed journal.