SPF Series Kickoff: What It Is & Why We Use It

Give me an S…..S! Give me a P……P! Give me an F….F!

What does that spell?


You may be wondering – why all this commotion about “SPF?” What does it even mean?

Well, in the next few moments, we will try and answer that question for you!

041SPF stands for the Strategic Prevention Framework. The SPF is a model used to plan community level programs or projects. Community leaders, including state and federal prevention officers, use the SPF to help guide the strategies they use to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) use. This is also a great tool for Youth Action Teams to use when planning projects!

The SPF consists of 5 steps. Here’s a fun and easy way to remember all the steps of the SPF.


Think of it as the ABCs of the SPF PIE:


The first step of the SPF involves assessing your community’s needs by gathering and analyzing data to identify and address local problems and resources. By identifying the real needs of your community, you are able to plan programs and projects that are appropriate interventions and will actually make a difference.

BC=Building Capacity

The next step of the SPF is capacity building, or as we refer to it, building capacity. This step is important because it involves identifying what resources are available in your community and deciding how you might be able to use each resource to meet program or project goals.


Planning is the third step of the SPF and is where you will spend most of your time. In this phase, you develop a logical, data-driven plan with evidence-based policies, programs and practices to address problems identified in the community assessment.


The fourth step, implementation, simply means to carry out the program or project or take action based on the plan you created in the Planning stage. Implementation takes place on the day of your project or over the course of your program or campaign. It includes all the activities that are a part of your project plan, including your evaluation.


The evaluation process not only includes determining how well your project went and measuring its impact, but whether or not it accomplished what you intended. The evaluation process should help you decide if your program, strategy, or project should be terminated or replaced, improved for next time, or done over and over again.

Don’t forget… the SPF also involves two important elements for effective and successful prevention initiatives.

These two elements are sustainability and cultural competence. You should address these in every step to ensure that your efforts are designed to last and meet the diverse needs of your community.

Why We Use the SPF:

rus_6345-2At GUIDE, we use the SPF in everything we do, whether it is for our Alcohol Prevention Project, various conferences and trainings we are planning, Georgia Teen Institute, social media campaigns or simply the general operation of our office and staff.

Why do we use the SPF? We use the SPF because it proves to be a very useful tool to help us be successful in all of our endeavors. By using the Strategic Prevention Framework, we are able to identify and assess the key issues and problems in our community, build long-lasting connections with diverse partners, have access to abundant resources we can use to address different issues, plan and implement evidence-based strategies, reach our goals and learn how to improve and make things better than before.

We also have the opportunity to share our knowledge and experiences of using the SPF with youth and adults around the state to teach them how to create sustainable and effective projects to better their community.

To better acquaint you with this process, we now have a series of blogs about the Strategic Prevention Framework. Begin learning the first phase now, Assessment!

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