1. Is Outcome-Centered
Progress and practices are measured and systematically monitored at the indicated level, whether that activity involves youth outcomes, workforce development outcomes, or system-wide outcomes.
2. Is Information-Oriented
MAP emphasizes the common roles that information serves in decision-making, rather than dictating a specific set of instruments or procedures. For example, in the direct service context, a MAP decision guide identifies where indicators of client progress commonly inform expert decision-making in evidence-based practices rather than require that a particular measure be used with a particular benchmark at particular intervals.
3. Supports a Common Language
By identifying common elements of interventions with scientific evidence of effectiveness across the behavioral health service domain, the MAP system provides a unifying language to which the terminology of specific programs and disciplines is readily translated.
4. Integrates Multiple Evidence Bases
The MAP system highlights four sources of evidence that are regularly referenced during decision-making: case-specific information (e.g., youth outcomes), case aggregate information (e.g., practice-based evidence), treatment outcome research (e.g., evidence-based treatments), and research on causal mechanisms (e.g., clinical or behavior change theory). MAP explicitly labels information from these four sources, brings them into the decision-making situation, and provides guidance for determining their relative priority with respect to key decisions.
5. Coordinates Observed and Expected Values
As a strategy to guide decision making, MAP facilitates comparison of observed values (e.g., client response, provider expertise) with the expected outcomes (e.g., research-informed benchmarks, professional development milestones).
6. Is Self-Correcting
Implicit in its routine functioning, MAP generates new data, promotes reflection and analysis, and supports adaptive responding, whether in direct service delivery, professional development, or system change contexts.
Even the core MAP resources are routinely updated based upon ongoing review of the scientific literature. As new evidence and practices appear in the scientific literature, these innovations are delivered directly to service providers, supervisors, and trainers through the existing infrastructure.
7. Is Developmental
Whether in the context of direct service, professional training, or organizational change, MAP is designed to “meet people where they are,” to build on current strengths and capacities, and to offer only those components needed to achieve collaboratively established goals.
8. Is Dynamic
MAP anticipates regular surprises, roadblocks, and exceptional circumstances, offering structured solutions to resolve the interference and to transition efficiently back to the pursuit of the original, overarching goals.
9. Promotes Public Visibility
MAP offers multiple strategies to promote transparency and public scrutiny of (a) the underlying evidence used to inform decisions and (b) the underlying logic used to reach a final decision and course of action.
10. Process Management
MAP adopts a continuous quality improvement strategy for managing the process of change. Common steps include setting goals, assembling supports, implementing procedures, testing results, and adapting the course of action as needed.