The Collaboration for Implementation Research and Delivery Science (IRDS) was formed in response to the growing interest in implementation science and recognition that a new approach and guidelines were needed to further advance the field. The group meets bi-weekly and has contributed to the IRDS field through the following past, ongoing, and planned activities.
The collaboration has recognized the need for exemplary case studies of IRDS in the field and is collaboratively developing a compendium of case studies which showcase health interventions successfully implemented and highlight strategies, leading practices, and lessons learned through the process. In addition, the group is collaboratively developing a white papers series on critical IRDS elements, such as incentivizing implementers to conduct IRDS, novel approaches to conduct IRDS, and inferences made for health research. The series will include a roundtable commentary from prominent policy-makes, program implementers, and researchers highlighting some of the main challenges and constraints to using IRDS. The Collaboration for IRDS is committed to producing and publishing IRDS focused papers in highly regarded peer reviewed academic journals which demonstrates the importance of elevating the IRDS field through formal publications.
The Collaboration for IRDS is actively engaging donors to assess interest in IRDS, identify priorities around IRDS and highlight the need for further commitment to the field. Through discussions with donors at global events and other meetings, the group hopes to elevate the prioritization of funding for IRDS. The group plans to will hold donor meetings in spring 2016 where it will present an initial draft of the case study compendium.
An initial USAID sponsored conference titled “Mind the Gap: Research & Evaluation Methods for Scaling Up Evidence-based Interventions” provided momentum for the creation of the IRDS workgroup. The conference, held in June 2010 in Arlington, VA brought together 78 participants ranging in background, organizations, countries and technical areas, to identify existing research needs and discuss implementation research methods to accelerate scale-up. The participants identified critical questions and approaches to help assure that the right programs are scaled up and that scale-up is accomplished in a way that maximizes their chances of success. These meetings highlighted the need for increased support and guidance for the field of IRDS to provide critically-needed evidence to program implementers and policy-makers.
A series of consultative meetings were held in Washington, DC and Accra, Ghana in 2014 to advance the application of scientific approaches in program implementation. The first consultative meeting held in April 2014 in Washington, DC was titled “Barriers and Facilitators to Successful Implementation and Delivery Science”. The primary goal of this meeting was to develop a shared vision for the broader and more effective use of IRDS in advancing global health goals. Building on the momentum from that meeting, two additional consultative meetings in Accra, Ghana in July and August 2014 were held to address key areas in advancing IRDS. These meeting provided forums for discussion around evidence based interventions and facilitators and barriers to IRDS and highlighted common challenges of past approaches and the need to have a common understanding and strategy for implementation science moving forward. During the meetings in Accra, a consensus statement on IRDS was developed. Click here for more detailed information about these meetings.
One major contribution made by the Collaboration for IRDS activities has been the development of a consensus statement. The statement describes lessons learned and drivers for IRDS, and serves as a common platform and shared vision for the IRDS field. The IRDS statement was promoted at the Global Symposium on Health Systems Research held in Cape Town during September 2014. Since then, the statement has gained support and been endorsed by a variety of stakeholders. Click here for more information and to view the statement.
The Collaboration for IRDS participants were actively engaged in the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research held in Cape Town from September 30-October 3, 2014. In addition to being active in a variety of sessions, the group held a session titled “The Case for Implementation Research and Delivery Science” and engaged a wide range of stakeholder who are involved with implementation research such as implementers of programs, academic researchers, funders and research and civil society. The session shared what had been learned during the series of consultative meetings, presented illustrative case studies, built a community of champions for the field, and promoted the vision for the greater use of IRDS in advancing global health goals.
The Collaboration for IRDS will be represented at the Fourth Global Symposium on Health System Research in Vancouver in November 2016 where it will present the paper series and case study compendium. The conference will provide the group with an opportunity to share the guidance and strategies on IRDS that they have developed over the past few years. By disseminating the products produced by the group and holding collaborative discussions at the symposium, the group will continue to help guide the implementation and scale-up of new evidence based health interventions to advance global health.