What is fidelity?Fidelity means that the evidence-based program is implemented with adherence to its core components: content (what is being communicated), pedagogy (how the content is taught), and implementation (how the program is delivered).
Developers base their programs in theory. Content, pedagogy, and implementation are not chosen at random or according to the developer's personal preference. The logic underlying each aspect of the program may be disrupted if the core components are changed or skipped.
AdaptationsAdaptations are changes to core components of an evidence-based program. While some adaptations may be helpful -- such as using inclusive language, making activities more interactive, and updating statistics -- others will compromise the integrity and effectiveness of the program.
Start with the right programAll communities are dynamic and unique. Youth groups are very diverse and youth culture changes quickly. To minimize the need for adaptations, it is critically important to select a program that is a match for the community and priority population. Comprehensive Planning for Evidence-Based Programming will assure a good fit.
Plan and prepare for implementationMany of the adaptations made during implementation can be avoided through planning and communication. All parties should understand and agree to support the requirements of the selected program.
General Adaptation Guidance: A Guide to Adapting Evidence-Based Sexual Health Curricula
This guidance document from ETR Associates details the green-yellow-red light framework and gives examples of appropriate and inappropriate adaptations.
Making Adaptations to Evidence-based Pregnancy and STD/HIV Prevention Programs
Adaptation kits for popular evidence-based programs are provided by ETR Associates.