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Helpful Tools for Implementing Science-Based Approaches

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17 Characteristics of Effective Programs

Dr. Doug Kirby and colleagues have developed a list of 17 characteristics of effective curriculum-based programs. This list was developed by conducting a systematic review of 83 domestic and international sexuality education and HIV prevention program evaluations. Researchers found that the majority of the effective programs incorporated most of the 17 common characteristics of successful curriculum-based programs identified in the analysis.

ETR Associates and Healthy Teen Network have used the lessons from this research to develop a Tool for Assessing the Characteristics (TAC) using the 17 characteristics as a guide. It is a very user-friendly tool that can help practitioners develop, improve, strengthen or adapt a program.

  • View the 17 characteristics here.*
  • View the TAC here.

*It is important to note that this list of characteristics applies only to curriculum-based sexuality/HIV education programs. To date, there is not a comparable list of characteristics for other types of programs, such as clinic-based, youth development, or parent education programs.