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October 2004Vol. 5, No. 8Critical Components for Program Replication

Replicating a proven program model can be one way to get a new program off to a good start. But how the model is implemented may be just as important as what model is used, according to a recent report by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

In its Blueprints for Violence Prevention initiative, 9 programs (8 violence prevention and 1 drug prevention program) in 147 sites were examined in terms of the extent to which agencies had accomplished specific program objectives (e.g., serving the targeted population, hiring and training qualified staff). The results of this process evaluation identified several critical components of successful program implementation:

  • Site Assessment. Communities should assess their needs, the commitment to the program, and resources for implementation.
  • Effective Organization. Organizations need to have support from administrators, agency stability, and links to other agencies.
  • Qualified Staff. Staff should be committed to the new program, have the credentials and experience for the job, have adequate time to commit to the program, and be paid for their efforts.
  • Program Champions. Every program needs one or more people to guide the daily operations, motivate staff, and foster communication.
  • Program Integration. It is important to link the new program to the goals and objectives of the host agency.
  • Training and Technical Assistance. These services increase staff understanding of the program and its philosophies, encourage administrative and community support, and provide direction.
  • Implementation Fidelity. This includes adherence to the original program design (protocols, materials); the number, length, or frequency of services; the quality of program delivery by staff; and engagement and involvement of participants.

By focusing on these critical components, agencies can foster a positive experience for both staff and participants that results in higher quality implementation and more positive outcomes.

A copy of this report can be obtained from the OJJDP website at (PDF - 1,137 KB). More information on the Blueprints for Violence Prevention initiative also is available on the OJJDP website at (Editor's note: This link is no longer active. More information about this program, which is now known as Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, can be found at