Assessing Your Project's Capacity to Provide the Required TA

Most activities that occur during the Exploration Phase focus on the needs, characteristics, and goals of a specific child and team. It is also important, though, to take time to consider whether a particular TA case is a good fit for your project.

A number of experts advise thinking about efforts to address needs or problems from the perspective of the types of challenges they present. While this is typically meant to apply more to systems change efforts,2, 23 it may also be helpful for planning individualized TA.12

Challenges can be thought of as "technical" or "adaptive."

Technical challenges

  • Team members agree about the characteristics of the situation (e.g., the child’s needs and their own training and TA needs)
  • Solutions to address those needs are relatively clear

Adaptive challenges

  • Team members have different perspectives about what is needed
  • Potential solutions are unclear

Technical challenges typically respond to a content-driven approach (e.g., training and information). Adaptive challenges require a more strategic, relationship-based, facilitative approach. TA almost always occurs in situations that involve a mix of technical and adaptive challenges.12

Advice from Colleagues

People tend to think of solutions as only technical things—coming up with the right intervention. But in reality, that is a very small part of it. The adaptive work of getting buy-in from the team through collaborative problem-solving is equally, if not more, important to being successful.

Tools & Resources

TA is typically classified as:

  • Universal, General
  • Targeted, Specialized
  • Intensive, Sustained

See below for complete definitions of each.

Advice from Colleagues

Tools & Resources

Once you have a sense of the nature of the TA that will be required, the following questions can help you determine whether a particular case is a good match for the mission, expertise, and available resources of your project:12

  • Is taking on this request appropriate given the scope of our project and our funder’s expectations?
  • Do we have the expertise to meet the need?
  • Do we have the resources to meet the need (including connections to other experts)?
  • Is use of the resources required worthwhile given other priorities?