Technical Assistance Best Practices

Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) was a multi-year, multi-stakeholder effort funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to improve the quality and lower the cost of care in 16 diverse communities across the country. These communities represented 37 million people and 31,000 primary care physicians; the AF4Q project spanned almost nine years. In total, there were eight funding opportunities, with approximately $50 million awarded to grantees.  The breadth and depth of the program necessitated substantial investment in technical assistance (TA) to support the communities in achieving their goals. The AF4Q TA program evolved substantially over the course of the program. The following are TA-related lessons learned from the National Program Office (NPO) charged with helping to envision, implement, and manage AF4Q. The provision of technical assistance to grantees in the case of multi-stakeholder collaborative efforts is a powerful lever to help drive the pace of change and attain programmatic goals. However, it is worth noting that such technical assistance is not a silver bullet, or quick fix, when the sought-after goal is complex and adaptive, such as improving health care quality and value.


A sample Request for Proposal for technical assistance providers.

A sample survey used by the NPO to determine what technical assistance Alliances needed.

A list of sample questions used to evaluate the effectiveness of technical assistance providers.

A summary of the AF4Q investment in TA and key considerations for organizations funding or managing the deployment of substantial investments in technical assistance.

The template provided to technical assistance providers to submit their annual reports.