What is a systems approach, and what does it mean to embed programs?



SYSTEMS APPROACH: a planned, coordinated and comprehensive approach to working with sustainable delivery systems (i.e. system partners) to ensure ongoing program dissemination and delivery.

SYSTEM PARTNER: an organization providing a sustainable mechanism for disseminating programs through multiple delivery sites to large numbers of people.

EMBEDDING: the process of facilitating the adoption of a program that results in the sustained delivery of the program as part of the partner's routine business.

COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIPS: formal alliances among two or more parties (e.g., the AF and/or a state health department and another agency), in which they work together to provide arthritis interventions.




Reaching people with arthritis who can benefit from AF programs requires working more efficiently. Staff in chapters and states can maximize their impact by adopting a systems approach to program dissemination and delivery. A broader reach can be achieved by embedding the programs and building collaborative partnerships with sustainable delivery systems (i.e., system partners). There is not a standardized AF/state/system partnership. Roles vary because of differences in local structures, capacities and resources. Partnerships will work best if each party’s roles and responsibilities are explicitly negotiated and documented in writing.


Chapter 1-2: Identifying System Partners about finding system partners
Chapter 1-4: Securing the Commitment about negotiating partnerships


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