Cross-Cutting Techniques in Technical Assistance
Across all major models or methods that AIR uses to facilitate change—Systems Change; Knowledge Translation, Utilization, and Dissemination; Communication Campaigns; and Pay for Success—are several cross-cutting techniques that guide our work:
- Training, Technical Assistance, and Coaching. These strategies are needed continuously over time to reinforce practice change. AIR develops and delivers activities that enable practitioners and other partners in education, health, and the workforce to gain the knowledge, motivation, and skills needed to improve outcomes for those they serve. Activities range from lecture and didactic learning to peer-to-peer learning and coaching, taking place either online or in person, informed by a strong evidence base, including adult learning theory.
- Resource and Tool Development. AIR experts create print- and web-based materials to share knowledge about content and techniques; conduct assessments and evaluation; and illustrate findings and outcomes to support the change process. Examples include readiness and assessment instruments, surveys, systematic literature reviews, training manuals, checklists, websites, dashboards, and facilitation guides to implement evidence-based programs.
- Cultural and Linguistic Competence (CLC). Throughout AIR’s technical assistance work, our staff demonstrate mastery of cultural and linguistic competence—the beliefs, behaviors, knowledge, skills, and systems through which individuals and organizations demonstrate empathy and understanding of, and respect for, diverse populations and cultures. CLC involves honoring the values, historical context, expectations, language, sexual orientation, and experiences of different groups. Learn more at AIR's National Clearinghouse on Supportive School Discipline.
- Technology Solutions. AIR uses innovative technology applications to improve lives. Our technology experts identify and employ solutions to the challenges facing human service systems with technology solutions that fit practitioner needs. These solutions can include data sets, websites supported by searchable databases that enable users to find customized information, online courses and webinars, web-based surveys, data visualization, and GIS mapping.
- Monitoring and Evaluation. Monitoring is the collection and analysis of information about an ongoing, active project or program to capture data, for example, on the number of people reached; how, and with what frequency, intensity, duration; and customer satisfaction. Evaluation is the periodic, retrospective assessment of an organization, project, or program that might be conducted internally or by external independent evaluators to determine impact and identify outcomes. AIR uses these techniques throughout all our technical assistance work to learn about customer satisfaction and ensure optimal outcomes.
- Continuous Quality Improvement. From the beginning and throughout any project, AIR staff strive to achieve the highest quality in the products and services we provide and to learn, through various forms of data collection at regular intervals, about improvements and corrections that are needed. Only in this way can the strategies and other interventions be optimized to achieve the original outcomes. We bring data to the table with clients and our partners in the field to co-interpret and make necessary improvements throughout the project lifecycle.