The adaptive nature of implementation practice: Case study of a school-based nutrition education intervention

Sherri Bisset, Louise Potvin, Mark DANIEL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


To describe how and why nutritionists implement and strategize particular program operations across school contexts.

Instrumental case study with empirical propositions from Actor-Network Theory (ANT). Data derived from interviews with interventionists and observations of their practices.

Seven primary schools from disadvantaged Montreal neighborhoods.

Six nutritionists implementing the nutrition intervention in grades 4 and 5. From 133 nutrition workshops held in 2005/06, 31 workshops were observed with audio-recordings.

Little Cooks – Parental Networks aims to promote healthy eating behaviors through engagement in food preparation and promotion of nutrition knowledge.

Phenomenon of interest
The program-context interface where interventionists’ practices form interactively within a given social context.

Coding inspired by ANT. Interview analysis involved construction of collective implementation strategies. Observations and audio-recordings were used to qualify and quantify nutritionists’ practices against variations in implementation.

Nutritionists privileged intervention strategies according to particularities of the setting. Some such variation was accounted for by school-level social conditions, individual preferences and nutritionists’ past experiences.

Conclusions and implications
Implementation practices are strategic and aim to engage educational actors to achieve intervention goals. These results challenge implementation frameworks centered on purely technical considerations that exclude the social and interpretive nature of practice
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-18
Number of pages9
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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