Stakeholders must first identify a cost driver, target problem, and evidence-based solution. Then the stakeholders should ensure that the intervention exhibits the following characteristics:
- Evidence. The proposed program is evidence-based, meaning it has been evaluated multiple times and the results indicate that the program achieves its goals. Resources like the Pew-MacArthur Results First Clearinghouse and the Washington State Institute for Public Policy’s comprehensive benefit-cost database help connect governments with evidence-based social programs, and our four evidence-base levels (potential, model, promising, and strong) help interpret the evidence.
- Evaluability. The program has measurable outcomes and positive social benefits, and the data and tracking systems in place can adequately measure performance.
- Implementation fidelity. Stakeholders have a plan to ensure that the program is implemented as intended.
- Safeguards. Protections are in place that ensure that neither the treatment population, nor the funders are harmed by the program.
- Instrument appropriateness and financial viability. Stakeholders have determined that PFS is the most cost-effective way to implement the program and that both funders and the government can attain savings using PFS.