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Principles of Evidence-based Practice for Youth Violence Prevention: Lessons from Around the World

Although there has been a surge in the popularity of evidence-based programs delivered via "blueprints" or guides that must be followed rigorously, in real-world settings this approach has several limitations. First, evidence-based programs that have been implemented in a few settings may not be applicable in different cultures and under different conditions, particularly in low resource countries and settings. Second, evidence-based programs often are quite costly to purchase and implement. Third, they typically require adherence to specific procedures that may not be feasible, particularly when programs are taken to scale. Fourth, there are many regular activities that youth engage in that have potential benefits for violence prevention and reduction, even though they may not have been evaluated as prevention programs per se. This is not to say that model programs are not useful. They are. Rather, as presented in this talk, it also is important to consider evidence-based principles that can guide program development and that can be used to improve quality of a range of programs with potential for youth violence prevention. Examples across different contexts and from different countries are discussed to illustrate the utility of focusing on evidence-based principles.


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