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Strengthening the evidence for maternal and child health programs

Support to States

individual states as puzzle piecesSupport to the states and jurisdictions provided by this project build on methodologies and expertise currently employed by the National MCH Workforce Development Center’s Evidence-Based Decision (EBDM) team, which is tasked to help state Title V programs improve their evidence-based/informed practice.

Knowing that the singular act of choosing evidence-based/informed programs or developing ESMs does not lead to change on its own, the EBDM team focuses on five domains that integrate implementation science theory:

  1. Needs assessment and goal setting
  2. Evidence appraisal and program selection (e.g., development of ESMs)
  3. Infrastructure development
  4. Developing measures to improve program implementation and evaluate outcomes
  5. Communication and dissemination of results

Support to states directly aligns with project activities 1 and 2 (Technical Assistance (TA) and Evidence Analysis Reports/other research tools) to ensure that Title V programs develop ESMs that address identified needs and draw on the best available evidence. Project activities 3-5 (Team of Experts, Learning/Educational Tools, and the MCH Digital Library) are required to support effective implementation of ESMs to advance NPMs over time.

Providing effective TA is a complex and challenging process. In fact, sometimes TA isn’t technical at all, but rather adaptive in that it is flexible and responsive to the needs of the particular state or jurisdiction.

This adaptive assistance mindset allows TA providers to respond with just-in-time trainings and customized support; it draws from a variety of consortium partner expertise. Most importantly, this form of TA responds to what state and jurisdictions find helpful rather than adhering to a rigid model of TA and hoping TA recipients can conform to the structure.

For this reason, the project consortium provides TA using a variety of flexible methods that can be short-term (e.g., one-time activity), intermediate (e.g., staff training), or long-term (e.g., systems change assistance). TA often includes specialized expertise, mentoring, analyzing and using data, translating science into practice, capacity building, and sharing resources that are tailored to address specific needs and target audiences. TA provides an "interpretive bridge" to lead the recipient from simple knowledge of what to do to the skills needed to catalyze improvement.

To provide support to states and jurisdictions, this program offers:

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.