Scientific findings are frozen in time, and difficult to replicate. This makes it hard to translate research into real world programs that work, are sustainable, and present a path to delivery at scale.
To avoid these pitfalls, I frame applied research using the elements of the journey metaphor below. The metaphor illuminates otherwise invisible elements of what makes a program work (or not). In doing so, it paves a path forward to translatable programs that work and can be sustained.
I explored these topics in my doctoral thesis and articulated the following 3 principals along with a working empirical model that can be used to quantitatively evaluate any program.
The model below uses standard representation of moderation in multigroup SEM, drawing boxes around the full model. In multigroup SEM, researchers specify which model they expect will differ based on features of travelers, guides, and scenery. a=Intention-to-treat effect, b=effect of randomization depends on fidelity, c=intervention changes putative mediators, d=mediators relate to outcomes, e = the effect of intervention on mediators depends on fidelity. f=the effect of the mediator on outcomes depends on fidelity, g=implementation strategies influence fidelity.
I also wanted to make the model practical, so provided a logic chart to walk through the various ways things can go right (or wrong) in the model above. You can interact with the flow chart below to see what different findings might reveal about a program.