Comparing Programs and Practices
On CrimeSolutions.gov, we review and rate both Programs and
Practices. Below is a table that demonstrates how Programs and Practices are
||A specific set of activities carried out according to guidelines to achieve a defined purpose.
||A general category of programs, strategies or procedures that
share similar characteristics with regard to the issues they address and how
they address them.
||How effective is this program according to the most rigorous evaluation(s) available?
||How effective is this general practice on average across
||Did the ABC Mentoring Program in Anytown, USA achieve its goals?
||Does mentoring usually achieve its goals?
||Single evidence rating per program
||Single evidence rating for each outcome affected by the practice
||Up to 3 rigorous evaluations of a specific program
||Meta-analyses that assess the average effectiveness of the practice on various outcomes across a large number of studies
||Experimental or quasi-experimental designs
||Meta-analyses of experimental or quasi-experimental designs
A Program is a
specific set of activities carried out according to guidelines to achieve a
defined purpose. To determine whether individual programs are effective, we
rely on studies using randomized experimental evaluation designs and
quasi-experimental evaluation designs. Program profiles on CrimeSolutions.gov
tell us whether a specific program was found to achieve its goals when it was
carefully evaluated. The results apply to the exact set of activities and
procedures used for that one program as it was implemented at the time of
evaluation. Thus, the program profile tells us that a program is likely to
produce the observed result if it is implemented in exactly the same way. A
program profile can answer: Did the ABC Mentoring Program in Anytown, USA,
achieve its goals?
A Practice is a
general category of programs, strategies or procedures that share similar
characteristics with regard to the issues they address and how they address
them. We rely on meta-analyses instead of evaluations of individual programs.
Practice profiles tell us about the
average results from multiple evaluations of similar programs, strategies or
procedures. The programs, strategies or procedures within a practice are
similar because they share certain defining characteristics that are described
for each practice profile on CrimeSolutions.gov. Thus, practice profiles
tell us the average result across multiple evaluations. A practice profile can
answer: Does mentoring usually achieve its goals?