Counter-arguments include evidence showing that some programmes do work, indeed some work well in multiple contexts (they transport well), and the view that we are still learning how to implement programmes well (the problem is not with EBPs per se).
At the same time, there is life beyond EBPs: they are not a panacea. Alternative approaches include: common elements (often called ‘kernels’); common logic models (‘meta-theory’); using meta-analyses to inform the reform of existing provision; and redesigning EBPs (‘second generation’). Other emerging approaches to using evidence to improve child outcomes include: evidence-based innovation; system reform; changing the prevention ecosystem; and relational social policy.
This paper describes and reviews the arguments and counter-arguments on the usefulness of EBPs, and outlines and critiques the alternative and emerging approaches. It suggests what the future might look like for EBPs.