Implementation Research and Delivery Science (IRDS)
This work involved active participation in “The Collaboration for Implementation Research and Delivery Science” consisting of USAID, WHO’s Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (AHPSR), the World Bank, the TRACTION Project, and other stakeholders to support the development of IRDS. The JHU team has actively participated with the administrative team in a number of areas, including: 1) Jointly convening and facilitating meetings to build consensus about defining the field and key steps to be taken; 2) Supporting work on developing a Lancet Series, including authoring two of the papers; 3) Supporting the development of case studies and materials for promoting IRDS.
- Implementation Research and Delivery Science Field Building. The convening activities included a set of structured and consultative international meetings which aimed to bring together different IRDS players to identify problems and opportunities related to IRDS, build consensus in describing the field, showcase useful examples and develop priorities for action. This series of meetings include: Developing and finalizing the Guide “Implementation Research in Health: A Practical Guide (Geneva, 2012); consultations on the priorities for statement on IRDS (Washington, April 2014 & Accra, July 2014); launch of the “Statement on Advancing Implementation Research and Delivery Science” at the Health Systems Global Conference (Cape Town, October 2014); and two Lancet series writing workshops (Washington, November, 2015 and Montreux April, 2016).
- Lancet Series on IRDS. JHU led the conceptualization and negotiations to obtain a Lancet series on IRDS, and collaborated on facilitating the preparation meetings, paper development, including leading on some of the papers.
- Systematic Review of IRDS papers in LMICs. A systematic review of SCOPUS database was conducted to identify peer-reviewed literature on implementation research and delivery science (IRDS) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The review covered the period of 1998-2014 and identified 7,066 records. Title and abstract screening were conducted to identify publications that were research or evaluations conducted in health or public health in an LMIC addressing an implementation issue. This screening reduced the number of records to 1,596, which were then abstracted for a number of relevant fields. Descriptive analyses were conducted along with an in-depth qualitative review of 17 articles identified as potential exemplars of IRDS publications. These findings have formed the basis for a paper being written for the upcoming Lancet series on IRDS.
- Supporting the development of Case Studies and Materials for IRDS. This work was done through participation on the ad hoc inter-agency committee supporting IRDS, and by supporting a graduate student to work at WHO Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (AHPSR) to help prepare case studies materials and protocols. Summary materials on IRDS have been produced through WHO, as well as case studies protocols, a call for case studies, and draft case studies on the application of IRDS. These will be curated at the WHO AHPSR website, and with presentations at the Vancouver Global Health Systems Symposium.