Strategic Prevention Framework

Strategic Prevention Framework

The Strategic Prevention Framework is a five step process that assists communities, coalitions and agencies in identifying community issues, available resources, gaps in services, and selecting interventions that address the unique needs of that community. The SPF process focuses on using data and building capacity within each community to impact the consequences of substance use-related issues. The SPF model is an evidence-based practice. It has been researched and evaluated. The SPF assists communities in using the data to identify needs as well as the strategies to impact those needs.

The process is non-linear. Each of the five steps correlates with one another.  

The five steps are:

  1. Assessment
  2. Capacity Planning
  3. Planning
  4. Implementation
  5. Evaluation


What is Assessment? Conducting a needs assessment is a review of resources, gaps, and readiness of your community.   Assessment then leads to recommendations regarding community priorities. It answers the question, “What is going on in my community?” 

 More specifically, it identifies:

  • How big and what type of a substance use problem is in the community? 
  • What resources currently exist within the community? What is supporting the substance abuse problem within the community? 
  • How ready is the community for prevention? 

Minimum SPF-SIG Requirements:

  • Identify and define your community (i.e. city, school, district, county etc) 
  • Conduct Community Readiness Assessment 
  • Meet Minimum Coalition Standards 
  • Assess community risks and perform Resource Assessments (Appendix C) 

Capacity Building

What is Capacity? Capacity involves more than just funding. Building capacity includes resources, people, partnerships, coalitions, and skills essential to the successful implementation of prevention plans. Capacity involves mobilizing resources, engaging stakeholders, partnerships with the community, building coalitions, developing readiness, and keeping a focus on cultural competency, sustainability and evaluation.

Specifically, this includes the following:

Minimum SPF-SIG Requirements:

  • Involve key leaders from community sectors (i.e. law enforcement, media, government, school, business, youth etc). Form and train the community board.
  • Plan and conduct a town-hall meeting inviting the members of your community to attend
  • Complete Causal Factor Tools 
  • Complete Causal Factor Reporting Tools 


Why Do I Need a Strategic Plan? Planning creates a comprehensive, logical, and data-driven plan to address the problems identified in the assessment and capacity building process. The plan includes strategic goals, objectives, performance targets, logic models and action plans. 

The Strategic Plan lays the groundwork for:

  • Implementation activities, including: 
    • Training 
    • Capacity Expansion 
    • Development of monitoring and evaluation systems
  • The identification of strategies 
  • The selection of evidence-based programs, policies, and practices to be implemented 
  • The evaluation plan 

Minimum SPF-SIG Requirements: 

  • How Do I Create a Strategic Plan?
  • Focus on environmental strategies
  • Prevention activities should be based on: 
    • Documented needs 
    • Identified resources and strengths 
    • Measurable objectives and performance measures 
    • Baseline data
  • Include a long-term strategy to sustain policies, programs, and practices 
  • Adjust plans as the result of ongoing needs assessment and monitoring 


Implementation requires you to take action as guided by the developed strategic plan. It includes developing detailed action plans for elements of your intervention, including balancing fidelity of implementation with adaptation. 

Minimum SPF-SIG Requirements:

  • Implement prevention plans as indicated in the strategic plan. 
  • Document implementation milestones (i.e. attendance, meetings, dates of interventions etc)


Evaluation includes process and outcome evaluation. This includes monitoring, evaluating, sustaining, and improving programs. 

What does the Evaluation Step include?

  • Process evaluation 
  • Collection of required outcome data (National Outcomes Measures) 
  • Review of policy, program, and practice effectiveness 
  • Development of recommendations for quality improvement 

Evaluation is crucial in prevention because it tells us:

  • What works and what doesn’t work 
  • What to improve and how to improve it
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