I ♥ GTO®

Date: January 14th, 2015

Gina Desiderio

I ♥ GTO® (otherwise known as Getting to Outcomes®). Now, I’m not about to plan my vacation using GTO like Mary Martha Wilson has suggested, nor am I going to sing about my little GTO, like Abe Wandersman…but still, I love GTO .

I Heart GTOI’m often the first among our staff to suggest GTO as the approach for a proposed project, or to remind us of the GTO steps in our strategic planning process. People will sometimes groan, but they will also agree…because, well, GTO is just awesome as a step-by-step process for planning, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining programs. It is, as the name clearly suggests, a way to support getting to outcomes. In fact, research by the developers of GTO® (RAND Corporation and the University of South Carolina) has demonstrated that those agencies that use GTO are better able to carry out all aspects of their services than those who do not use it.

The other thing I love about GTO is that it isn’t really anything new—it just pulls together all the important steps we know, into a cohesive, logical, and practical framework. GTO makes it easy to be methodical and evidence-based in program delivery. Healthy Teen Network uses GTO across most of our projects, as well as our approach, or framework, for providing capacity-building assistance. 

Now, I’m not going to go into details about the 10 steps of GTO here…we’ve already done that for you in the Healthy Teen Network Evidence-Based Resource Center. You can find an overview, as well as a synopsis of each step, along with a curated list of resources, to support you through the 10 steps of GTO.

How well do you know GTO? Is it just another acronym or yet another framework to adopt? Or have you embraced it and are ready to go? Because if you haven’t, you should really check it out, particularly if you are interested in the funding opportunity announcements recently released by HHS for teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDS prevention…I’m just saying, it could be helpful! Scratch that—it WILL be helpful!

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About the Author

Gina Desiderio, Healthy Teen Network Director of Communications, has over 10 years of capacity-building and project management experience, supporting professionals to provide programs and services to empower youth to thrive.

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