STAGE 4. Selecting the theoretical approach
What steps should be completed?
Step 2: Revise the objectives of the intervention in light of the implications of the theoretical approach adopted
You will probably now understand the behaviours, and the environments where these occur, that you want to change with the intervention. You may try to use the intervention to achieve change on the individual level (i.e., in the individual, between people or within the organisation), in the person’s most immediate environment (or even the community’s), and/or in the social or physical context where the population lives.
You now have an initial guideline to find the most appropriate combination of approaches. As discussed previously, it is almost impossible for a single conceptual framework to respond to complex problems such as drug dependence. Therefore, incorporating several theoretical approaches when planning your intervention will be more useful, as it offers a logical explanation that is consistent with your observations. Selecting different approaches will bring you closer to a conceptual framework that takes into account the different factors affecting target population behaviour.
The specific objectives of the programme should refer to the key factors in the theoretical model(s) selected, as these should clearly identify which aspects should be modified to achieve the ultimate goal, and why. Then review your objectives and check that they are consistent with your model (approach) and that you have not forgotten any substantial factors to be modified.
One Step@a Time suggests that you consider the following criteria to help you find the benefits of theoretical models when formulating objectives.
You can then review the methods offered by the different theoretical models (approaches) to achieve the changes you are looking for. Although this information will be most useful when planning activities (Stage 5), in this step you can anticipate the approaches that offer the most appropriate methods to achieve those changes. It will therefore be easier to plan intervention strategies in the next stage of the process.
© COPOLAD. Cooperation Programme between Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union on Drugs Policies.