Policy as innovation: Diffusion of the principles of effectiveness

The Foundation's Substance Abuse Policy Research Program was designed to provide support for investigators to conduct policy research on a variety of subjects directed at helping the country reduce the harm caused by substance abuse.The purpose of this project is to assess the impact of the new Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSCA) rule, which became effective July 1, 1998. The new policy requires school districts (local education agencies or LEAs) to comply with the Department's "Principles of Effectiveness" or risk loss of funding. The Principles require them to: (1) conduct needs assessments; (2) develop measurable program goals and objectives; (3) adopt and faithfully implement effective prevention programs that have been scientifically tested; and (4) periodically evaluate their programs. Although almost every LEA in the country receives SDFSCA funding, very few could currently meet the requirements of the new policy. This study uses a diffusion of innovations theoretical framework to assess how and why LEAs adopt science-based programs and tools. If rates of adoption are poor, the study will play an important role in suggesting new strategies for improving this outcome. This study also will provide a unique opportunity to assess the correlation between adoption of the Principles and student drug use.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $349,543.00

Awarded on: 3/26/1999

Time frame: 4/1/1999 - 3/31/2002

Grant Number: 35153


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

103 South Building
Campus Box 9100
Chapel Hill, 27599-9100


Denise D. Hallfors
Project Director