Measuring Enactment of Innovations and the Factors that Affect Implementation and Sustainability: Moving Toward Common Language and Shared Conceptual Understanding


This article describes research that focuses on the concern that researchers are unable to fully realize the potential value of their collective efforts because they do not have shared conceptual or operational tools for communicating assumptions, ideas, research strategies, or findings with others outside, or even within their disciplines. This research, through the lens of measuring implementation of educational programs, has taken steps toward bringing researchers’ varied pictures of understanding into a coherent landscape. This article describes a conceptual framework for describing aspects of implementation, a conceptual framework for describing the factors that affect implementation, and tools for measuring each. It describes the challenges addressed in the development of these approaches, and the application of these approaches to current studies in education and other fields in the social sciences. In doing so, it demonstrates that meaningful communication between researchers and accumulation of knowledge across fields is possible, and necessary.

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Much of the work referenced in this paper was funded with support from the National Science Foundation.

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Correspondence to Jeanne Century EdD.

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Century, J., Cassata, A., Rudnick, M. et al. Measuring Enactment of Innovations and the Factors that Affect Implementation and Sustainability: Moving Toward Common Language and Shared Conceptual Understanding. J Behav Health Serv Res 39, 343–361 (2012).

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  • Behavioral Health
  • Implementation Process
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  • Implementation Research
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