Introduction to Implementation Toolkits

Implementation Toolkits provide in one central location for information, documents, and materials about how to execute a new practice, program, or intervention. This section provides basic information on Implementation Toolkits, and materials and guidance on how to use them effectively. If you are beginning a new intervention or program, these materials will assist in structuring your work so that you systematically define the intervention, communicate about it, and evaluate it. You can use the templates to create your own Implementation Toolkit.

Implementation in the Human Services

When a new way of doing work is initiated or introduced in an agency or organization, the following questions arise:

  • How does staff know what they are supposed to do?
  • When are staff supposed to do "it"? 
  • How are staff supposed to do "it"? 
  • Is “it” going to fit within the organizational structure and culture?  

The act or process of implementation is not so simple, with a gap sometimes occurring between what is intended to be implemented and what is actually implemented in practice. 

The complexity of  this process has given rise to the study called "Implementation Science," or IS. The National Institute of Health (NIH) provides a definition of IS, which helps us to understand what makes for a smoother transition from knowing about a particular new practice to actually implementing that practice in an agency in some organized way. The "stages of implementation"  provide a practical and logical explanation about what happens in each step of the process.

Implementation Science has been studied by many experts, who agree that implementation:

  1. Is a social process, requiring champions, networks, and (human or) resource drivers to initiate the process;
  2. Requires inter and intra agency support and collaboration;
  3. Stresses the ability to adhere to a model while at the same time considering adaptations for special populations;
  4. Involves a multi-layered approach for success.

For more information about specific Implementation framework and/or models, see the following:

Implementation Toolkits in the Human Services

An Implementation Toolkit is an assembly of instruments that, when used collectively or separately, can be handy for implementing a new program, practice, project, or initiative. Users can apply the toolkit in its entirety, or they may find certain portions of it particularly informative for their needs.

Toolkits are designed to help users implement more seamlessly, thereby bridging or reducing the gap between implementation and practice. They provide a blueprint for what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Implementation driversimplementation teams, and implementation champions, together with agency or organizational leadership, are vitally important to the success of any implementation effort. 

An Implementation Toolkit could take the shape of a written step-by-step process guide. Instead, however, we have opted to place toolkit information online in an effort to be more responsive to various users and more convenient. Users can print what they need for their purposes.

This website provides definitions, descriptions, and examples of the components necessary for the construction of an Implementation Toolkit. Templates are provided to help users build their own Implementation Toolkit from start to finish. Sample toolkits are also provided. 

The toolkits listed below were created by various stakeholders of the CalSWEC consortium to aid in implementing new practices or programs. Click each link to access the toolkit on the CalSWEC website:

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