How is implementation research applied to advance health in low-income and middle-income countries

Olakunle Oladunjoye Alonge, Daniela Cristina Rodriguez, Neal Brandes, Elvin Geng, Ludovic Reveiz, David Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper examines the characteristics of implementation research (IR) efforts in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) by describing how key IR principles and concepts have been used in published health research in LMICs between 1998 and 2016, with focus on how to better apply these principles and concepts to support large-scale impact of health interventions in LMICs. There is a stark discrepancy between principles of IR and what has been published. Most IR studies have been conducted under conditions where the researchers have considerable influence over implementation and with extra resources, rather than in a € real world' conditions. IR researchers tend to focus on research questions that test a proof of concept, such as whether a new intervention is feasible or can improve implementation. They also tend to use traditional fixed research designs, yet the usual conditions for managing programmes demand continuous learning and change. More IR in LMICs should be conducted under usual management conditions, employ pragmatic research paradigm and address critical implementation issues such as scale-up and sustainability of evidence-informed interventions. This paper describes some positive examples that address these concerns and identifies how better reporting of IR studies in LMICs would include more complete descriptions of strategies, contexts, concepts, methods and outcomes of IR activities. This will help practitioners, policy-makers and other researchers to better learn how to implement large-scale change in their own settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere001257
JournalBMJ Global Health
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Fingerprint

Health
Research
Research Personnel
Administrative Personnel
Research Design
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Learning

Keywords

  • delivery
  • implementation
  • literature review
  • low and middle income countries
  • research
  • science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy

Cite this

How is implementation research applied to advance health in low-income and middle-income countries. / Alonge, Olakunle Oladunjoye; Rodriguez, Daniela Cristina; Brandes, Neal; Geng, Elvin; Reveiz, Ludovic; Peters, David.

In: BMJ Global Health, Vol. 4, No. 2, e001257, 01.03.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{dd606c2fdae6481787d7980ede1c8947,
title = "How is implementation research applied to advance health in low-income and middle-income countries",
abstract = "This paper examines the characteristics of implementation research (IR) efforts in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) by describing how key IR principles and concepts have been used in published health research in LMICs between 1998 and 2016, with focus on how to better apply these principles and concepts to support large-scale impact of health interventions in LMICs. There is a stark discrepancy between principles of IR and what has been published. Most IR studies have been conducted under conditions where the researchers have considerable influence over implementation and with extra resources, rather than in a € real world' conditions. IR researchers tend to focus on research questions that test a proof of concept, such as whether a new intervention is feasible or can improve implementation. They also tend to use traditional fixed research designs, yet the usual conditions for managing programmes demand continuous learning and change. More IR in LMICs should be conducted under usual management conditions, employ pragmatic research paradigm and address critical implementation issues such as scale-up and sustainability of evidence-informed interventions. This paper describes some positive examples that address these concerns and identifies how better reporting of IR studies in LMICs would include more complete descriptions of strategies, contexts, concepts, methods and outcomes of IR activities. This will help practitioners, policy-makers and other researchers to better learn how to implement large-scale change in their own settings.",
keywords = "delivery, implementation, literature review, low and middle income countries, research, science",
author = "Alonge, {Olakunle Oladunjoye} and Rodriguez, {Daniela Cristina} and Neal Brandes and Elvin Geng and Ludovic Reveiz and David Peters",
year = "2019",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1136/bmjgh-2018-001257",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "4",
journal = "BMJ Global Health",
issn = "2059-7908",
publisher = "BMJ Publishing Group",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - How is implementation research applied to advance health in low-income and middle-income countries

AU - Alonge, Olakunle Oladunjoye

AU - Rodriguez, Daniela Cristina

AU - Brandes, Neal

AU - Geng, Elvin

AU - Reveiz, Ludovic

AU - Peters, David

PY - 2019/3/1

Y1 - 2019/3/1

N2 - This paper examines the characteristics of implementation research (IR) efforts in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) by describing how key IR principles and concepts have been used in published health research in LMICs between 1998 and 2016, with focus on how to better apply these principles and concepts to support large-scale impact of health interventions in LMICs. There is a stark discrepancy between principles of IR and what has been published. Most IR studies have been conducted under conditions where the researchers have considerable influence over implementation and with extra resources, rather than in a € real world' conditions. IR researchers tend to focus on research questions that test a proof of concept, such as whether a new intervention is feasible or can improve implementation. They also tend to use traditional fixed research designs, yet the usual conditions for managing programmes demand continuous learning and change. More IR in LMICs should be conducted under usual management conditions, employ pragmatic research paradigm and address critical implementation issues such as scale-up and sustainability of evidence-informed interventions. This paper describes some positive examples that address these concerns and identifies how better reporting of IR studies in LMICs would include more complete descriptions of strategies, contexts, concepts, methods and outcomes of IR activities. This will help practitioners, policy-makers and other researchers to better learn how to implement large-scale change in their own settings.

AB - This paper examines the characteristics of implementation research (IR) efforts in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) by describing how key IR principles and concepts have been used in published health research in LMICs between 1998 and 2016, with focus on how to better apply these principles and concepts to support large-scale impact of health interventions in LMICs. There is a stark discrepancy between principles of IR and what has been published. Most IR studies have been conducted under conditions where the researchers have considerable influence over implementation and with extra resources, rather than in a € real world' conditions. IR researchers tend to focus on research questions that test a proof of concept, such as whether a new intervention is feasible or can improve implementation. They also tend to use traditional fixed research designs, yet the usual conditions for managing programmes demand continuous learning and change. More IR in LMICs should be conducted under usual management conditions, employ pragmatic research paradigm and address critical implementation issues such as scale-up and sustainability of evidence-informed interventions. This paper describes some positive examples that address these concerns and identifies how better reporting of IR studies in LMICs would include more complete descriptions of strategies, contexts, concepts, methods and outcomes of IR activities. This will help practitioners, policy-makers and other researchers to better learn how to implement large-scale change in their own settings.

KW - delivery

KW - implementation

KW - literature review

KW - low and middle income countries

KW - research

KW - science

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85062706651&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85062706651&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1136/bmjgh-2018-001257

DO - 10.1136/bmjgh-2018-001257

M3 - Article

VL - 4

JO - BMJ Global Health

JF - BMJ Global Health

SN - 2059-7908

IS - 2

M1 - e001257

ER -