One of the distinguishing elements of Frontiers of Innovation’s Translational Science Model is the development and refinement of three specific components. These components add specificity and interconnectedness to an intervention’s theory, development, implementation, evaluation, and refinement.

TSM ComponentsThese three components of the model include:

Each component is developed with a focus on precision and clarity. In accordance with the model’s guiding principles, the process is also informed by fast-cycle iteration, which allows for the flexible testing and adaptation of an intervention over time, as well as an emphasis on what can be learned to address the questions that are critical to improving outcomes for children and families.

Theory of Change

A theory of change (TOC) is a detailed set of beliefs about specific observable changes that are expected to result from an intervention. A clear and concise TOC supports fast-cycle iteration by helping to pinpoint why, how, and for whom an intervention works or doesn’t work. It also facilitates shared learning and guides decisions related to program development and materials as well as evaluation. Within FOI, all project teams work from a common TOC template.

Program and Materials Development

High-quality, comprehensive materials are a program’s blueprints and include all of the information needed for teams to implement the program effectively, including guidance on strategies, targets, population, setting, duration, etc. These materials are closely aligned with the intervention’s TOC, facilitate ongoing development and adaptation, and increase program feasibility and scalability. Each program’s materials will be unique, but may include items such as training materials for interventionists, handouts for participants, implementation checklists, and fidelity scales.

Evaluation Plan

An evaluation plan details the exact measures and processes that will be used to evaluate a program’s impact, and is closely tied to the TOC. In addition to the measures used for each intervention, TSM-engaged projects use a common set of core measures, which allows for data aggregation and data sharing across intervention sites. Data is shared and synthesized within a centralized data repository.

RELATED: Learn about the guiding principles of the model.

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