Redefining Evidence-Based Practices: Expanding our View of Evidence

Over the past 20 years, many youth-serving fields have become increasingly reliant on evidence-based practices (EBPs) when implementing and evaluating programs, especially in communities of color and in communities living in poverty. While EBPs can play a role in program development and practice, they lack cultural relevance and devalue other forms of knowledge, which perpetuates structural inequities. We must develop new standards of program implementation and evaluation that are both data driven and community informed. When we recognize lived experience as evidence and account for community and cultural context, we can elevate programs that work in the communities they serve, dismantling structural inequities.