The Hexagon EBP/EII (Evidence-Based Practices/Evidence-Informed Innovations) Exploration Tool by the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN)

Click here to Download Full-Size Hexagon Exploration Tool Image

During the past few years, the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) at the University of North Carolina Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center has been developing the Hexagon as a planning tool for states, districts, and schools.  The purpose of the Hexagon is to provide a platform for stakeholders to consider six areas as they select evidence-based instructional, behavioral, and social-emotional interventions and prevention models. The six areas are:

  • Needs
  • Fit with current initiatives
  • Resource and support availability
  • Evidence
  • Readiness for replication
  • Capacity to implement

While the examples that NIRN provides are school-based (see to download a copy of the tool and instructions), the tool clearly has utility in the selection of evidence-based practices, programs, and policies in the realms of mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance abuse.  The diagram on the next page illustrates aspects to consider in the selection of an EBP.

In addition, NIRN developed a rating scale for scoring the six areas, which ranges from 1=low to 3=medium to 5=high.  Each area would be rated on this five-point scale, and a total score would be obtained.  The developers’ caveat was that they had not weighted the areas or derived cut-off scores as to whether or not to select the EBP in question.  What they emphasized was the discussion of stakeholders that takes place prior to the decision to adopt an EBP.  Stakeholders are asked to examine the suggested prompts under each area and come to a decision after thoughtful and meaningful discussion.  Developers caution that the list of prompts for each area is not exhaustive.