Not all programs and practices have the same amount of evidence. Here are some frequently used terms to describe the level of support that exists for an evidence-based program or practice:
- Exemplary/model/best—clear evidence of effectiveness with multiple, rigorous evaluations;
- Promising—some evidence of success, many questions remain; or
- Innovative—derived from evidence-based programs, but has not yet been evaluated.
When Should I Use An Innovative Program?
An exact version of the program you envision does not have to exist in order for you to rely on evidence-based programming. Search the literature for programs which address issues similar to the problem you have identified. You may be able use an innovative program that is based in research evidence, but has not yet been sufficiently evaluated to be considered an evidence-based program. You may also be able to combine strategies from more than one program.