Technical assistance is a core strategy for capacity building and is used to support EBT implementation and other community development and improvement efforts. However, limited reviews examine evaluation of TA across varying contexts and capacity-building aims. TA is being implemented across diverse settings, often serving socially vulnerable and under-researched populations. This article describes a review of two decades of peer-reviewed publications to summarize the evidence on the evaluation and effectiveness of TA. A six-stage methodology was used that included five databases. Eligibility review criteria were established using the Population-Concept-Context framework to select 125 evaluation research studies. Research questions were established, and results were collated, summarized, and reported.
Results indicated that the most common use of TA was to support the implementation of evidence-based practices, although TA was also used for evaluation capacity building, coalition building, improvement, and workforce development. Nearly half of the studies involved a combination of TA activities, including individual coaching, training webinars, and communities of practice. Gaps in methodological gaps and study limitations were identified. Defining features of TA were identified, including: 1. Goal is increasing capacity; 2. Services target the systems level (i.e., organization, community); 3. Supports are individualized (i.e., targeted/tailored); 4. Supports are provided by a subject matter expert or specialist. These characteristics can serve as a starting place for developing a reliable, standard definition for TA. It was concluded that a more robust and rigorous evaluation is needed with recommendations for advancing the evaluation and effectiveness of TA.