Here are the seven approaches to investing in implementation research in low- and middle- income countries.
Implementation research is the scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of proven clinical treatments, practices, organizational, and management interventions into routine practice, and hence to improve health. In this context, it includes the study of influences on patient, healthcare professional, and organizational behavior in either healthcare or population settings.
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Approach 1: Include stakeholders from the outset
– Address ‘implementation disconnect’
– Support platforms that link funders and researchers with practitioners
Approach 2: Embrace the diversity of being involved in implementation research
Be strategic in thinking and planning
Approach 3: Expect and enable implementation research to evolve
– Clarify terminology and definitions
– Assess methods and frameworks for relevance
Approach 4: International partnerships are important: join one or form one
– Share the load and multiply impact
Approach 5: Integrate training, mentoring and fellowships into implementation research programs
– Enhance funder skills
– Build researcher expertise
– Inspire health practitioners and policymakers
– Lead ethically
Approach 6: Create and communicate clear funding criteria
– The key ingredients of successful IR proposals
– Consider developing and sharing proposal evaluation tools
Approach 7: Embed implementation research into health systems
– Support projects that embed IR skills in health systems
– Facilitate exchange between researchers and policymakers
– Fund research on how IR can influence health policies
– First do no harm
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