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Key terminology

Evidence-Based Practices

Which child focused practices have been shown to be effective in the European Union? This section features practices that have demonstrated their effectiveness through rigorous research.  These practices have been reviewed by a team of experts and summarized in a way that is easy to understand.

Practice User Registry

Which child focused practices are being developed or implemented throughout the European Union?  This section allows visitors to register practices that they are developing or implementing in order to share knowledge with other users.  These practices have not been reviewed for evidence of effectiveness, but instead are posted here to promote information sharing and to support learning across the EU community of practice providers and policymakers.

Evidence Framework

The evidence framework describes the criteria against which practices are evaluated for inclusion in the Evidence-Based Practices section.  Criteria are organized according to three categories, “evidence of effectiveness,” “transferability,” and “enduring impact.”

Evidence of Effectiveness

Evidence of effectiveness is a label for the review team’s assessment of the quality of the research evidence supporting a candidate practice for the Evidence-Based Practices section.   There are seven criteria that the review team uses to judge the quality of the research in order to assign a “grade” to practices in this category.  Possible grades include ++, the highest level of “evidence of effectiveness”, +, passing level of “evidence of effectiveness”, or 0, indicating that the research does not meet our quality standards.


Transferability is a label applied to the review team’s assessment of whether a practice or program has been evaluated in at least one additional member state AND the practice has sufficient replication materials available that the practice can be replicated again.  Practices assigned a + in “transferability” meet both of the aforementioned criteria.

Enduring Impact

Enduring impact is a label applied to the review team’s assessment of whether a practice or program has been evaluated with a follow-up study of at least two years.  Practices assigned a + in “enduring impact” meet this criterion.  Long-term funding is not required as part of “enduring impact.”

Best Practice

A “best practice” has achieved at least a + in each of the three evidence categories, including “evidence of effectiveness”, “transferability” and “enduring impact.”

Promising Practice

A “promising practice” has achieved at least a + in “evidence of effectiveness” and a + in at least one of the other two categories, “transferability” and “enduring impact.”

Emergent Practice

An “emergent practice” has achieved at least a + in “evidence of effectiveness.”

Here is a graphical overview of how evidence designations are assigned:

Best practicePromising practiceEmergent Practice
Evidence of effectiveness+ or +++ or +++ or ++
Transferability++ in at least one
Enduring impact+

Programme evaluation

The use of social research methods to systematically investigate the effectiveness of social intervention programs in ways that are adapted to their political and organizational environments and are designed to inform social action in ways that improve social conditions (Rossi, Peter H., Mark W. Lipsey, and Howard E. Freeman.  2004.  Evaluation:  a systematic approach, 7th Edition, Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage Publications, page 29).