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Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2017 Jun 8;41:e75.

Embedding research to improve program implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
Office of Knowledge Management, Bioethics and Research, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, D.C., United States of America.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.


In the last 10 years, implementation research has come to play a critical role in improving the implementation of already-proven health interventions by promoting the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based strategies into routine practice. The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research and the Pan American Health Organization implemented a program of embedded implementation research to support health programs in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in 2014-2015. A total of 234 applications were received from 28 countries in the Americas. The Improving Program Implementation through Embedded Research (iPIER) scheme supported 12 implementation research projects led by health program implementers from nine LAC countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Saint Lucia. Through this experience, we learned that the "insider" perspective, which implementers bring to the research proposal, is particularly important in identifying research questions that focus on the systems failures that often manifest in barriers to implementation. This paper documents the experience of and highlights key conclusions about the conduct of embedded implementation research. The iPIER experience has shown great promise for embedded research models that place implementers at the helm of implementation research initiatives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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