Step 4a: Choose an evidence-based program

All of the program planning work you have done so far has led to this question: Which high-quality evidence-based program (EBP) will fit your needs?

This page includes resources to connect you with a diverse range of EBPs. These EBPs have been found through formal research to be effective with a specific population. Using tested, proven programs can help you protect the investment you and your organization are about to make in your program.

When choosing an EBP, there is not a right or wrong choice. Look for a program that matches your goals and objectives, meets your community's needs, and can be conducted with the resources you have.

Explore the programs in the categories below. Once you've chosen a program, go to Step 4b.


Step 4a resources

A website that provides practitioners with the best available evidence and approaches related to nutrition, physical activity, and the prevention and control of obesity.


Resources include trainings, interventions, and evaluation frameworks.

A website that provides opportunities to share, learn about, and adopt evidence-based innovations and tools suitable for a range of health care settings and populations.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  website that provides links to documents that can help program planners learn to plan and establish programs to effectively prevent and reduce tobacco use. 


The evidence-based documents are designed to help states plan and establish effective tobacco control programs to prevent and reduce tobacco use. 

Website that provides a registry of evidence-based positive youth development programs designed to promote the health and well-being of children and teens.


Blueprints programs are family, school, and community-based and target all levels of need-from broad prevention programs that promote positive behaviors while decreasing negative behaviors, to highly-targeted programs for at-risk children and troubled teens that get them on track.

This template from the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) helps an organization compare two potential evidence-based programs (EBPs) by considering how the EBPs align with the health topic or problem of interest, the goals and objectives of the program, the audience for the program, the organization’s resources and capacity, and the level of adaptation needed.

A database from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Center on AIDS & Community Health at the Academy for Educational Development that provides science-based HIV prevention interventions for community-based service providers.


The goal of this resource is to enhance the capacity of organizations to implement effective interventions at the state and local levels, to reduce the spread of HIV and STDs, and to promote healthy behaviors.

Resources include:

  • Community-level interventions
  • Group-level interventions
  • Structural interventions
  • Public Health strategies
  • Additional training and technical assistance information

A database of evidence-based resources and programs from Healthy People 2020 and the Department of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.


Topics cover a wide range of health focus areas, age groups, populations, settings, and intervention types.

Searchable database of practices across different areas of public health, including mental health, maternal and child health, chronic disease, tobacco control, and preparedness.  


The database can be used to:

  • Benefit from your colleagues' experiences
  • Learn what kinds of programs work
  • Ensure that resources are used wisely on effective programs that have been implemented with good results

A searchable online registry from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of more than 230 programs in the areas of mental health promotion, substance abuse prevention, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.


Includes intervention summary reports for every program reviewed. Each intervention summary includes:

  • General information about the intervention
  • A description of the research outcomes reviewed
  • Quality of Research and Readiness for Dissemination ratings
  • A list of studies and materials reviewed
  • Contact information to obtain more information about implementation or research

Searchable database of programs from the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) “List of Evidence-Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Models.”


Programs that impact teen pregnancies or births, sexually transmitted infections or sexual activity are listed for certain target populations, settings, ages, and more.

Searchable database with over 300 evidence-based resources. 


Health topics include cancer, diet and nutrition, physical activity, tobacco and substance use, adolescent health, immunizations and infectious diseases, and other health topics.

The Strategic Alliance for Healthy Food and Activity Environments developed the Environmental Nutrition and Activity Community Tool (ENACT)  website to provide organizations, coalitions, and communities with a hands-on assessment and planning tool to promote healthy eating and active living in their communities.


The tool focuses on seven key areas:

  • Childcare
  • School
  • After-school
  • Community
  • Workplace
  • Healthcare
  • Government

Some of the areas on the site include specific evidence-based programs (EBPs), others do not. To look for EBPs, you can:

  • Click through each of the health topics, and see if specific EBPs are listed
  • Go to the Search field, type the term "evidence-based" along with a keyword or two related to your health topic, and click Go

The Network offers credible, research-based information on what works to improve the lives of children and families by providing summaries of effective programs.


Evidence-based programs (EBPs) are listed as Programs that Work and can be sorted by:

  • Outcome area
  • Indicator
  • Topic
  • Evidence level
  • Alphabet

A Sun Safety Curriculum created and developed by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and disseminated by CATCH Global Foundation. The evidence-based curriculum educates children, parents and teachers about sun protection and promotes sun safety behaviors in an effort to reduce children's lifetime risk of developing skin cancer.

A website from the National Cancer Institute that allows program planners to view evidence-based programs (called research-tested intervention programs, or RTIPs) by health topic or to use specific criteria to search for programs proven effective for cancer screening (for a range of cancers), diet/nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco control.

Sharing Hope is an hour-long presentation that can help increased mental health awareness in African American communities by addressing a number of important topics around mental health.


The presentation includes a scripted 60-minute interactive dialogue centered on the presenters’ personal connections to mental health and journeys to recovery, a handout for presentation audiences, detailed checklists, practice sheets, and other materials to help make community connections and plan a successful presentation.

Compartiendo Esperanza (Sharing Hope) is a bilingual 90-minute presentation that can help increase mental health awareness in Latino communities by addressing a number of important topics around mental health.


The presentation includes a scripted 90-minute interactive dialogue centered on the presenters’ personal connections to mental health and journeys to recovery, a bilingual handout for presentation audiences, detailed guides, checklists, practice sheets and other materials in English and Spanish.

The SunWise program is a free environmental and health education program to teach K-8 children about sun safety, UV radiation, and stratospheric ozone. Educators, parents, caregivers, and others who join the SunWise program receive a FREE took lit with over 50 cross-curricular, standards-based activities that encourage young people to...


explore, assess, and understand their natural environment and those factors that affect their health. They also encourage students to be physically active, while protecting themselves from UV radiation at the same time.

A website from the National Council on Aging that provides an extensive collection of evidence-based and evidence-informed resources to promote healthy aging, including toolkits, research, and examples of model programs, websites, and more. 


The site encourages and assists community-based organizations serving older adults to develop and implement evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs in the community and online through a collaboration with national, state, and community partners.

This hands-on toolkit is designed to help education leaders build healthy school communities that support children by creating healthy, safe, engaged, challenged, and supported environments.


It includes three modules to help guide leaders in the use of social science tools with the aim of creating systems change.

The Hexagon tool created by the National Implementation Research Network helps you decide whether or not an EBP meet the needs of your organization.


The Hexagon Tool helps you rate an EBP based on your organization’s needs, capacity, and resources, as well as the EBP’s evidence of effectiveness, readiness for replication, and fit with the organization’s existing initiatives. 

A 2008 initiative from the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy that focuses on identifying "Top-Tier" interventions which are "interventions shown in well-designed and implemented randomized controlled trials, preferably conducted in typical community settings, to produce sizable, sustained benefits to participants and/or society." 


This standard includes a requirement for replication - i.e., demonstration of effectiveness in at least two well-conducted trials or, alternatively, one large multi-site trial.

NEP brings together 100 collaborating agencies in more than 50 Massachusetts communities to provide resources around healthy food choices, physical activity, food safety, and stretching food dollars.

 A project initiated by the University of Wisconsin in 2004 that distills the latest scientific knowledge on effective policies, practices, and evidence-based programs for youth and their families, schools, and communities.


Areas of focus include health, parenting, and juvenile justice.