Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Step 3. Plan

Evidence-Based Workgroups

States, tribes, and jurisdictions create Evidence-Based Workgroups (EBWs) as part of their Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG) for several reasons:

  1. To understand the State’s SPF SIG priorities and logic model
  2. To operationalize SAMHSA/CSAP’s 2009 guidance document Identifying and Selecting Evidence-Based Interventions
  3. To review and make recommendations on communities’ comprehensive plans

All EBWs share these functions, but states, tribes, and jurisdictions have found different ways to put them into place. The creation, functioning, and structure of EBWs has varied widely across several key areas:

  • Planning EBWs can mean incorporating them into existing decision-making structures or creating them separately.
  • Recruiting and training members involves deciding what skills and experiences are most needed and valued, whether to draw on members of other prevention networks, and what level of training will be required/offered.
  • In addition to the three core functions above, the focus and scope of EBWs may also include providing technical assistance or other activities.
  • Some EBWs choose to develop or expand their own definitions and criteria of what constitutes evidence-based prevention—this can be particularly important to tribes where unique cultural considerations might affect how interventions are planned and implemented.
  • States, tribes, and jurisdictions find many different ways to sustain their EBWs once SPF SIG funding ends, including reviewing interventions in areas other than substance abuse prevention or in providing ongoing training and guidance.

Important lessons learned through these experiences are provided in the report Creation, Functioning, and Structure of Evidence-Based Workgroups: A Report On the Experiences of SPF SIG States, Tribes, & Jurisdictions.


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