Administrative evidence-based practices (A-EBPs) are agency-level (health department) and work unit–level structures and activities that are positively associated with performance measures such as achieving core public health functions, implementing EBIs, etc. These structures and activities include agency policies, procedures, plans, and management practices.

While training helps build individual skills, our earlier work found skill attainment is necessary but not enough to move evidence-based decision making (EBDM) forward and sustain EBDM use. Organizational supports within health departments are also needed to embed EBDM practice into the day-to-day work.

Across several reviews, core elements (domains) of A-EBPs appear to be particularly important:

(a) leadership

(b) organizational climate and culture

(c) partnerships

(d) workforce development, and

(e) financial processes.

These domains are particularly useful targets for quality improvement efforts because some of them are modifiable in a relatively short time frame.

Related Publications

Allen P, Brownson RC, Duggan K, Stamatakis KA, Erwin PC. The Makings of an Evidence-Based Local Health Department: Identifying Administrative and Management Practices. Front Public Health Serv Syst Res. 2012; 1(2).

Brownson RC, Allen P, Duggan K, Stamatakis KA, Erwin PC. Fostering more-effective public health by identifying administrative evidence-based practices: a review of the literature. Am J Prev Med. 2012 Sep;43(3):309-19.

Brownson RC, Reis RS, Allen P, Duggan K, Fields R, Stamatakis KA, Erwin PC. Understanding administrative evidence-based practices: findings from a survey of local health department leaders. Am J Prev Med. 2014 Jan;46(1):49-57.

Duggan K, Aisaka K, Tabak RG, Smith C, Erwin P, Brownson RC. Implementing administrative evidence based practices: lessons from the field in six local health departments across the United States. BMC Health Serv Res. 2015;15:221.

Erwin PC, Harris JK, Smith C, Leep CJ, Duggan K, Brownson RC. Evidence-Based Public Health Practice Among Program Managers in Local Public Health Departments. J Public Health Manag Pract. Nov 18 2013.