As funders, our missions depend on the successful implementation of effective programs. However, understanding how the context and the conditions influence a program’s success is challenging but critical to sustainability and scale up. To address this challenge, philanthropies like the Gates Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and many others are turning to the field of implementation science. In the words of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, “Implementation science strives to understand the critical factors and conditions that ensure effective practices are successfully carried out and sustained in typical service settings, whether that practice is just being developed or has already built substantial evidence. It’s a field that recognizes that real life often doesn’t line up with the parameters of a controlled evaluation — and that leadership qualities and transitions, communication and community dynamics can play a significant yet underappreciated role… Rather than evaluating a program at the end of a long period of operation, implementation science involves constant evaluation and mechanisms for continuous quality improvement that allow for nimble adjustments to increase effectiveness more quickly.”
To support regional grantmakers in understanding how implementation science may benefit their work, Dr. Daniel Perkins from Penn State University will provide an Implementation Science 101 workshop on February 20. Dr. Perkins will begin with an introduction to implementation science and commonly used tools and methodologies drawing from his work with community organizations in Ireland and practical implementations with the Air Force’s Zero Suicide Systems Framework. The workshop will be interactive and involve discussion.
About the Presenter:
Dr. Perkins is a professor of youth and family resiliency and policy at Penn State University, and the founder and principal scientist of Penn State’s Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness. He was recently appointed to serve as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on the Well-Being of Military Families.