PD Presenters Week: Meg Hargreaves and David Chavis on Advancing the Implementation Science of Community/Systems Change

Hi! We are Meg Hargreaves (principal associate) and David Chavis, (principal associate and CEO) at Community Science, an evaluation and consulting firm that works with governments, foundations, and non-profit organizations on solutions to social problems through community and other systems change. As part of our goal to strengthen the science and practice of building healthy, just, and equitable communities, we are working to expand Implementation Science to encompass community and systems change initiatives.

Hot Tip #1:

  • Implementation science focuses only on individual-level programs, ignoring the roles that community- and systems-level initiatives play in addressing pressing social problems, such as homelessness, food insecurity, health disparities, and juvenile justice.

Hot Tip #2:

  • Implementation science studies the organizational and community factors that affect the success of individual-level programs, but ignores the roles that systems and policies play in supporting the success and spread of individual-level programs.

Hot Tip #3:

  • Implementation science can overplay the importance of evidence-based clinical and professional services, which contribute only one element to comprehensive initiatives addressing serious community problems, such as teen pregnancy, domestic violence, and child abuse.

Through our half-day professional development workshop and our conference presentations for the Presidential Strand and the Systems in Evaluation TIG (see the conference program for details), we will discuss new ways to evaluate the implementation of complex community and systems change initiatives. These topics will include:

  1. New principles for studying the implementation of complex initiatives, based on public health frameworks, prevention science, place-based philanthropy, systems concepts, and social network theories.
  2. New evaluation methods for assessing the quality of the implementation of community and systems initiatives.
  3. Implementation case studies of complex community, systems, and policy change initiatives.
  4. New tools to assess collective community capacity in five areas: collaborative partner networks, shared goals, infrastructure, continuous learning, and communication.
  5. New tools to assess the implementation of community change approaches, including: community problem-solving, community engagement, nested strategies, sustained scale, and an equity lens.

Want to learn more? Register for Advancing the Implementation Science of Community/Systems Change at Evaluation 2015 in Chicago, IL.

This week, we’re featuring posts by people who will be presenting Professional Development workshops at Evaluation 2015 in Chicago, IL. Click here for a complete listing of Professional Development workshops offered at Evaluation 2015. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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