This report describes the objectives and features of the What Works Repository (WWR) of the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs.
The WWR was developed in response to recommendations of the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth and the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy. The WWR is also a response to the White House's call for the Federal Government to make a change toward programs and policies based in the findings of rigorous evaluation research. The WWR is a Web-based resource that classifies programs based on evidence of their effectiveness, so as to assist communities in selecting and replicating programs with proven success based on evaluation research. Programs in the WWR are rated according to a classification framework that consists of six levels of evidence of effectiveness and three levels of readiness for dissemination. Levels of effectiveness are as follows: "effective," "effective with reservation," "promising," "inconclusive evidence," "insufficient evidence," and "ineffective." The three levels of readiness for dissemination are "fully prepared for widespread dissemination," "fully prepared for limited dissemination," and "not ready for dissemination." Programs with top-rated evidence of effectiveness and readiness for dissemination receive a cumulative rating of 1A. Programs classified lower than "promising" do not receive a dissemination rating or cumulative rating. The WWR will classify prevention, intervention, treatment, and supervision programs developed by Department of Justice/Office of Justice Programs and other public and private organizations, and it will provide guidance for support of the replication of effective and promising programs. Further, it establishes credible and assessable criteria for evidence of effectiveness while informing the research and program-development agenda. 31 references