Implementing Innovations in Global Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health: Realizing the Potential for Implementation Science

Mar 01, 2018 | H. B. Peterson, J. Haidar, D. Fixsen, R. Ramaswamy, B. J. Weiner and S. Leatherman

The launch of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the new Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health are a window of opportunity for improving the health and well-being of women, children, and adolescents in the United States and around the world. Realizing the full potential of this historic moment will require that we improve our ability to successfully implement life-saving and life-enhancing innovations, particularly in low-resource settings. Implementation science, a new and rapidly evolving field that addresses the “how-to” component of providing sustainable quality services at scale, can make an important contribution on this front. A synthesis of the implementation science evidence indicates that three interrelated factors are required for successful, sustainable outcomes at scale: 1) effective innovations, 2) effective implementation, and 3) enabling contexts. Implementation science addresses the interaction among these factors to help make innovations more usable, to build ongoing capacity to assure the effective implementation of these innovations, and to ensure enabling contexts to sustain their full and effective use in practice. Improving access to quality services will require transforming health care systems and, therefore, much of the focus of implementation science in global health is on improving the ability of health systems to serve as enabling contexts. The field of implementation science is inherently interdisciplinary and academe will need to respond by facilitating collaboration among scientists from relevant disciplines, including evaluation, improvement, and systems sciences. Platforms and programs to facilitate collaborations among researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and funders are likewise essential.

PubMed Abstract

H. B. Peterson, J. Haidar, D. Fixsen, R. Ramaswamy, B. J. Weiner and S. Leatherman. (2018). Implementing Innovations in Global Women's, Children's, and Adolescents' Health: Realizing the Potential for Implementation Science. Obstet Gynecol, 131(3), 423-430.