In addition to carrying out the activities in your implementation plan, your group will need to document the process and describe any changes you make to your original plan along the way. A complete description of how your intervention was implemented helps provide information on fidelity of the implementation; this is part of the process evaluation described in Step 5 of the SPF. Information to document may include participant demographics, recruitment methods, actual attendance, planned and implemented adaptations, cultural issues and how they were addressed, indications of unmet needs, and any other issues that arise (e.g., lack of organizational capacity, community resistance).
Generally, within three to six months of beginning a new strategy or activity, your staff or an appropriate committee should develop a systematic way to review your logic model and strategic plan. The goals of this review are as follows:
- Document intervention components that work well
- Identify where improvements need to be made
- Provide feedback so that strategies may be implemented more effectively
- Make timely adjustments in activities and strategies to better address identified problems
- Assess whether enough resources have been leveraged and where you might find more
- Engage key stakeholders (e.g., community members, providers, staff) so they feel a sense of responsibility and pride in helping to ensure that your group’s goals and objectives are met and that the substance use problem in the community is reduced
One way to do this review is to create a fidelity checklist, if one is not already available from the intervention developers. List all the activities in your action plan and put a checkbox next to each activity. Check off each activity as you complete it and document the following:
- Activities that were not implemented in the order suggested by developers
- Activities you tried that did not work
- New activities you created to take the place of ones that did not work
At the end of this process, you will have a good record of what you did and did not implement, the challenges you faced, and how you overcame each challenge.