Bergen Summer Research School

Embedded implementation research at UNICEF

Letting implementers lead the way

Unicef sign, Bankok

UNICEF defines implementation research as “the integration of research within existing health program implementation and policymaking cycles to improve programme outcomes (e.g. acceptability, appropriateness, feasibility, fidelity, sustainability, coverage) and overcome implementation bottlenecks.”

We incorporate implementation research into our programmes to understand factors that influence and improve implementation, and also learning to take programmes to scale. Primarily this research ‘approach’ is led and informed by implementers with meaningful engagement and support of researchers. Key characteristics of the approach include: continuous engagement across these two groups; alignment and embedding of research activities within implementation, funding and policy cycles; analysis that has real-world, real-time applicability and responsiveness; and as part of the overall monitoring and evaluation planning or programme learning agenda.

This lecture will introduce the UNICEF approach and discuss how researchers can engage successfully with programme managers and policy-makers to generate evidence and translate it to action to improve health service delivery.

Debra Jackson, BSN (Florida State), MPH (San Diego State), DSc (Boston) is a Senior Health Advisor and Chief of the Implementation Research and Delivery Science Unit, Health Section, UNICEF, and holds an appointment as an Extraordinary Professor in Public Health from the School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. She has qualifications in nursing, public health, epidemiology and biostatistics.

The session will be moderated by Professor Thorkild Tylleskär.

This keynote addess is free and open to the public.