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Program Development > The Ten Principles of Effective Programming

The Ten Principles of Effective Programming

  1. Program content and process is matched to participant needs.
    • Content is timely, accurate, appropriate and organised
    • Process is supportive, challenging and progressive
    • Objective testing is used to establish individual and group baselines
  2. Program has clear rules and sanctions reflecting a 'firm but fair" approach.
    • Rules are established to maintain appropriate behavioural boundaries
    • Confidentiality is foregrounded and clarified
    • Sanctions are to be clear and based on participant behaviour
    • Formalised by contracts to reinforce a "no-nonsense" culture
  3. Program establishes positive links to other community resources.
    • Alliances are established with others sharing similar values
    • Stakeholder networking used as referral base
    • Referral-on process maintains program gains for participants
  4. Program targets strengthening of prosocial behaviours, values and attitudes.
    • Reinforce positives as opposed to focussing on negatives
    • Participant change enabled through social-learning model
    • Maximise positive peer influences in group
  5. Program offers pragmatic, personal and social problem-solving opportunities.
    • Focus on practical, face-valid opportunities to meet positive expectancies
    • Mobilise the range of participant skills and backgrounds in the group
    • Balance practice and theory in favour of practical approaches
  6. Program reinforces graduated self-mastery and self-efficacy skills.
    • Focus on self-responsibility, self-learning and controlled risk-taking
    • Stage-manage (challenge and review) insight through experiment
    • Reinforce successes, reality-test and examine reported failures
  7. Program encourages empathetic relationships between facilitators and participants and between participants themselves.
    • Distinguish between empathy and sympathy
    • Confrontation seen as a goal not as routine communication
    • Abusive behaviours and disrespect controlled among group
  8. Program uses facilitators who are experienced and/or trained in transition issues.
    • Facilitator's personal boundaries and egos are to be robust
    • Facilitators need to be knowledgeable and aware of separation issues
    • Facilitators are to be experienced in group processes and dynamics
  9. Program involves participants in ongoing program evaluation and development.
    • Honest participant feedback is encouraged and seriously considered
    • Evaluation of both content and process is targeted
    • Negative feedback is closely scrutinised and weighted
  10. Program utilises quality assurance techniques to maintain operational integrity.
    • Facilitators are supervised and supported
    • Lines of accountability, reporting and reviews are clear
    • Operational problems are dealt with in a timely, open and fair process