Implementation Science Overview

What is Implementation Science?

Implementation science is the study of the methods and strategies that enable research uptake into practice and policy.

With the aim to improve population health, implementation science examines what works, for whom, and under what circumstances. It also looks at how effective interventions can be scaled up within and between countries, while maintaining equity of access, for example, across gender, age, and socioeconomic status.

Implementation science is the “application and integration of research evidence into practice and policy.”

Glasgow, Eckstein, and ElZarrad (2013)

Gbenga Ogedegbe, Professor of Global Health, explains the importance of implementation science

Why Is Implementation Research Important?

Implementation research takes what we know and turns it into what we do.

Implementation research is needed to account for the complexities of the systems in which interventions are implemented since other approaches often fail to address these. Results of implementation research support evidence-based policymaking that can build robust programmes to improve public health.

The GACD has invested over $250 million USD in implementation science research for chronic non-communicable diseases, to see more of the GACD impact visit:

How Is Implementation Research Conducted?

Why is implementation science important for non-communicable diseases?

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are diseases that cannot be transmitted from person to person, are typically long term in nature, and where a complete cure is rarely achievable. They kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally.

While many proven interventions to prevent and manage NCDs exist, there can be significant challenges in implementing these effectively in diverse settings and different contexts. Implementation research can address such challenges.

Why is implementation science important in low- and middle-income settings?

Over three-quarters of all NCD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries; however, many effective prevention and management interventions exist which could help alleviate this burden. Implementation science is critical in such settings to help ensure that limited resources are invested in cost-effective programmes that are relevant to the local context.

What next?

Read our implementation research for non-communicable diseases case studies

Explore our Resources and toolkit library

Take our Fundamentals of Implementation Science Programme

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