Strategic Prevention Framework

Steps and guiding principles of our work

To be effective, Arkansas prevention planners need to understand complex behavioral health problems within complex environmental contexts.

DAABHS uses the Strategic Prevention Framework developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The framework is based on years of research and experience throughout the United States.

Steps of the Framework

Strategic Prevention Framework Steps
  1. Assessment
    • “What are the problems?”
    • We gather data to determine the needs, resources, and causes of community issues.
  2. Capacity
    • “What do we have to work with?”
    • We develop knowledge, skills, and resources that community members can use to address issues.
  3. Planning
    • “What should we do, and how should we do it?”
    • We determine the best practices, strategies, and action plans to address issues.
  4. Implementation
    • “How do we put our plan into action?”
    • We do the work we planned to address the issue.
  5. Evaluation
    • “Is the plan succeeding?”
    • We review the implementation process to determine whether adjustments are needed, to record success, and to determine if goals were met.

Principles of the Framework

Two principles must be embedded in every step of the framework.

  1. Cultural Competence
    • All plans and actions must be knowledgeable, respectful, and responsive to the values, lifestyles, and traditions of individuals or organizations engaged in prevention efforts.
  2. Sustainability
    • Planning and actions should be adaptable and build toward long-term results.

Distinctive Features of the Framework

SAMSHA points out several advantages of this framework when compared to other strategic planning processes.

It is dynamic and cyclical.

The Strategic Prevention Framework is circular. Planners will return to the assessment step repeatedly over time as community needs and capacity change. Also, the cycle is adaptable to complex, multi-faceted planning. Communities and organizations may work on more than one step at a time if needed.

It is data-driven.

The framework steers the collection and review of data to define and prioritize problems and behavioral patterns

It is collaborative.

The framework requires input and cooperation from diverse community partners.