Strategies, activities, and programs that evaluation research has shown to be effective are based on evidence. Some of these activities help individuals develop the intentions and skills to act in a healthy manner. Others focus on creating safe and supportive learning environments.
After two decades of prevention programming and evaluation, those charged with implementing prevention programs can now choose from a range of strategies and approaches that have solid research evidence demonstrating their effectiveness. This brings a high standard of research evidence into the decision-making process while taking into account the contextual and experiential factors that influence decisions. Evidence-based prevention refers to a set of prevention activities that evaluation research has shown to be effective. Definitions of what constitutes "evidence" have been debated in the literature and the field, but most agree that evidence is extremely important for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers charged with the task of making decisions about the funding and implementation of prevention strategies. A Centers for Disease Control feature, Using Different Types of Evidence in Decision Making, provides guidance on using evidence in decision-making processes, most notably in violence prevention.
Colleges and universities should select carefully those approaches most consistent with the campus culture and then adapt them to addressing the particular characteristics of the institution and surrounding community.