Are changes or adaptations allowed for ETR’s evidence-based programs?

Adaptations fall into three categories, depending on their potential to alter program outcomes.

  1. Green-light adaptations are minor changes that do not compromise the core components or internal logic of the intervention. Green-light adaptations are often made to help tailor the program to the needs of participating youth. For example, changing the names or situational contexts in roleplays, updating statistics, or including local misperceptions in an activity about perceived norms can help improve relevance to the youth in your program. Green-light adaptations are encouraged, and generally do not require a lot of time or resources.
  2. Red-light adaptations are changes that substantially compromise the core components of the program. They include changes such as shortening the program or eliminating skill-practice activities. Red-light adaptations should be avoided because they can have a negative impact on achieving the desired outcomes.
  3. Yellow-light adaptations are somewhere between green- and red-light adaptations and should be made with caution and careful planning. These adaptations are the most complex, and generally require more time and resources. They may include adding activities, changing the sequence of activities, or replacing videos. They could also include using the program for a different youth population or moving it into a different setting. Yellow-light adaptations have the potential to compromise the program’s core components and diminish its effectiveness. When practitioners are considering yellow-light adaptations, it’s best to work with a skilled curriculum developer and someone who understands behavioral health theory. ETR offers adaptation guidance as part of our coaching and technical assistance services.

Adaptation Guidelines are available for all of our evidence-based programs (EBPs). Please see the Adaptation Guidelines & Tools tab on the pages that describe each EBP to find specific information about green-, yellow-, and red-light adaptations.

Be sure to check funding guidelines as applicable to confirm whether prior approval is required for any adaptations you are considering. In addition, please note that ETR owns the original and derivative rights to its EBPs.  Developers making significant adaptations to these programs or materials are encouraged to register their efforts with ETR and must understand that adaptation of an ETR program does not grant the developer of the adaptation the right to disseminate or commercialize the work in any way or represent such work as approved by ETR.