Between 1993 and 1996, researchers at Cornell University, New York State College of Human Ecology, Ithaca, N.Y., evaluated the process by which successful demonstration projects are replicated into real-world programs.
They specifically examined the replication process within four Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)-funded national programs and one project, as well as to recommend effective replication methods.
Transforming successful demonstration projects into real-world programs is a relatively new endeavor in the social service field. It was anticipated that the findings would be disseminated and would assist RWJF and other funding agencies in designing programs.
- The investigators identified two main replication strategies. These included:
- simple replication, in which sites receive training and technical assistance in adopting the methods of a well-tested program.
- developmental replication, in which a more flexible approach is taken for programs whose methods and outcomes have not been explored as well.
- Among the investigators' conclusions:
- Replication sites value one-to-one technical assistance more highly than any other kind of support.
- Grant funds appear critical in getting replication projects started, but once momentum has been achieved, the importance of the funds decreases.
- Organizations must buy into the project and provide the resources and personnel to implement and sustain it, instead of relying on grant funds.
- It may take up to a decade to recruit a critical number of sites that have adopted the replication project.
RWJF supported the project with a grant of $235,542 between August 1993 and April 1996.