What is Implementation Science?

The HEARD Partnership defines implementation science as the use of scientific methods to study and improve the uptake and integration of evidence-based practices, interventions, and policies into service delivery, healthy systems, and community settings. Implementation science reinforces USAID’s Global Health Research & Development Mission “to support collaborative research from the local to the global level, generating evidence on interventions, policies, approaches, and technologies that increase the impact of health programs globally.”

Our goal is to leverage the success of the HEARD Project towards a sustainable Implementation Science Collaborative (ISC)—a network of implementation science networks.

The Implementation Science Approach

As a partnership composed of 33 diverse organizations from across Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America, with opportunities to expand, the HEARD Project works through four collaborative strategies:

Partnership and Agenda Development

Partnership and agenda development includes consultative processes with a deliberate set of partners—especially evidence users—from the beginning and throughout to ensure relevance, buy-in, and demand for evidence-informed decision-making.

Data Liberation and Evidence Strengthening

Data liberation and evidence strengthening is about exploiting opportunities to make existing data more available and accessible and entails the use of available data for analysis and informed decision-making. 

Research and Evaluation Study Design and Implementation

If there is a gap in existing data, HEARD supports a range of research and evaluation activities that often explore aspects of policy and intervention implementation such as feasibility, acceptability, adaptability, effectiveness, scalability and sustainability. 

Process Development for Evidence-To-Use Acceleration

Evidence-to-use acceleration is facilitated by creating useful products (beyond publications), engaging relevant policy and program platforms, and linking to communities of practice to more effectively communicate findings and advocate for change.