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Table 1 Administrative evidence-based practices (A-EBPs)a in local health departments

From: Implementing administrative evidence based practices: lessons from the field in six local health departments across the United States




Workforce development


• In-service training in quality improvement or evidence-based decision making

• Skills-based training (e.g., organization and systems change)

• Training in communicating and collaborating with employees from multiple disciplines

• Training aligned with essential services and usual job responsibilities


Access to technical assistance

• Access and use of knowledge brokersb

• Use of process improvement activities (e.g., accreditation, performance assessment)

• Face-to-face meetings to share lessons, compare experiences, and provide updates


Skills and background of leaders

• Leadership skill development

• Leadership experience

• Quality of leadership

• Leadership influence

• Manager competency to manage change


Values and expectations of leaders

• Leadership support of quality improvement, national performance standards, evidence-based decision making, innovation, accreditation

• Intend to hire well-educated, experienced staff including specialists (e.g., lab scientists, epidemiologists, environmental health professionals, financial systems experts)


Participatory decision-making

• Broad participation among the management team

• Leaders and middle managers seek and incorporate employee input

• Non-hierarchical decision-making

Organizational climate & culture

Access & free flow of information

• Communication flow

• Tailored messaging for evidence-based decision making

• 360 degree employee performance reviews geared to evidence-based practices (with extensive feedback)

• Ready access to high-quality information


Support of innovation & new methods

• Leadership/management and employee training in evidence-based decision making that includes new methods

• Employees perceiving that management supports innovation

• Conscious creation of environments conducive to innovation

• Organizational capacity to be in both business-as-usual state and state of exploration/innovation


Learning orientation

• Shared employee perceptions that supervisors value learning and research evidence

• Project management teams that encourage communication & collaboration

• Presence of multidisciplinary, diverse management teams

Relationships & partnerships

Inter-organizational relationships

• Build and/or enhance partnerships with schools, hospitals, community organizations, social services, private businesses, universities, law enforcement

• Cooperative agreements with state and/or local health departments quality improvement


Vision & mission of partnerships

• Clear vision & aligned mission of partnerships

• Capacity building over time among partners

Financial practices

Allocation & expenditure of resources

• Outcomes-based contracting

• Resources allocated for quality improvement, evidence-based decision making, innovation, information access, training and implementation

• Diverse funding sources

  1. aAdapted from Brownson et al. [3]
  2. bA knowledge broker is a masters-trained individual available for technical assistance