Health Evaluation and Applied Research Development (HEARD)
Beatriz Plaza, Health Systems Evaluation Advisor, CIRCLE Project and Maeve McKean, Senior Policy Advisor, HEARD Project
For those unfamiliar with the Implementation Science Collaborative (ISC), it is an initiative of the USAID-funded Health Evaluation and Applied Research Development (HEARD) Project. HEARD’s role is to establish and leverage this global partnership that seeks to support the development and implementation of policies and programs addressing health and development in low resource settings. Developers of the ISC believe that this collaborative model is needed to address three major challenges of implementation science:
- Insufficient engagement of relevant stakeholders in a meaningful and timely manner;
- A disconnect between the evidence that is generated and the evidence that is needed to inform program and policy development and implementation; and
- Limited capacity to package, communicate, and translate findings to inform policies and practice.
On October 9th, 2018, the HEARD project hosted a side event at HSR 2018 to update meeting participants on the ISC. ISC plans to create an on-line community-of-practice that will facilitate more effective implementation science in global health.
Participants discussed i) stakeholder engagement in the process thus far; (ii) current status of the governance process and; (iii) the potential value ISC would bring to the diversity of organizations attending the session.
“This initiative will aim to address the process and the different stages of research and assure that ownership is collective, and demand driven.”
— Yoswa Dambisya from the East Central and Southern Africa Health Community in Tanzania
Key takeaways on the role of the ISC:
- Foster long-term relationships across various skills and sectors through this new and evolving collaborative.
- Serve as a technical repository for those doing implementation science/implementation research that not only includes the best practices but also failures.
- Serve as an incubator of innovative implementation science activities.
- Serve as an advocate for the important unanswered research questions.
- Support translation and dissemination of research findings, best practices and failures.
- Support and strengthen capacity in the translation of data into knowledge as well as the exchange of technical implementation science expertise, experience, support among ISC stakeholders.
“…this should be a way of learning together, as we go, best practices and fine-tuning documents and sharing not only with other ISC members but at all levels within our countries.”
— Fatuma Manzi, Ifakara Health Institute
As the ISC further refines its role and continues to receive more input from a wider global audience, you can receive updates by signing up for the Implementation Science in Global Health Newsletter at www.heardproject.org.