What are Evidence-Based Programs?

Evidence-based programs are programs that have been rigorously tested in controlled settings, proven effective, and translated into practical models that are widely available to community-based organizations. It is also important that the evaluations themselves have been subjected to critical peer review. That is, experts in the field – not just the people who developed and evaluated the program – have examined the evaluation’s methods and agreed with its conclusions about the program’s effects. Ultimately, when you implement an evidence-based program, you can be confident you’re delivering a program that works and is highly likely to improve the health of your constituents.

Advantages of Evidence-Based Programs 

Implementing an evidence-based program is widely considered a “best practice” strategy for community health promotion. Evidence-based programs can add value in many ways. 

  • Positively impacting the health of the program participants is more likely with an evidence-based program. 
  • Funders increasingly demand that programming be based on solid evidence. 
  • Agency leaders want to concentrate limited resources on proven programs. 
  • Program managers can concentrate their efforts on program delivery rather than program development. Allowing them more time to reach a larger population and have a great impact. 
  • Older adults are savvy and want to invest their time and money in programs that have been proven to work. 
  • The demonstrated outcomes of evidence-based programs are attractive to community members and potential partners, facilitating community buy-in and the formation of partnerships, especially with healthcare/clinical partners.