Case Study: Participatory SDM® Risk Validation in New Hampshire

Growing knowledge about the limitations and potentially negative impact of using data-driven applications such as risk assessments has led research teams to create a more inclusive process for understanding the trade-offs in risk assessment implementation and validation. Evident Change and the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families used a collaborative, stakeholder-informed approach to conduct a participatory risk validation of the Structured Decision Making® (SDM) risk assessment in early 2020. This approach borrows principles of human-centered design and action research to center attention on those who are most impacted, to seek action to improve practice, and to study the effect of a practice improvement. Including and trusting impacted individuals and communities has been shown to increase empathy, generate new ideas, and be necessary to promote equity in implementation science.