Defining Effective Programs: How to Navigate Through the Diverse Definitions

Brian Brandt


There are many organizations that use shared terms to describe effective programs but don’t agree on the definition of these terms. Terms such as evidence based, research-based, proven practices, and promising practices have multiple definitions amongst practitioners. Exploring the different definitions, of these shared terms, by yourself or with your peers is one way to discover how programs are defined by others. This article and links will lead you through a process to understand the variety of youth development definitions used by practitioners and challenge you to create common definitions that will lead to better discussions with others regarding the effectiveness of programs.

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