Implementing Global Health Solutions: Bringing Science to Practice for the World’s Mothers, Babies, and Children

Every day, far too many women, children, and adolescents die from causes that we can prevent and treat. We need to assure that we successfully implement our most promising innovations sustainably and at scale — so they reach every woman, child, and adolescent who needs them.

Revolutionizing and rethinking research evidence for global health

Since 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Research Evidence for Sexual and Reproductive Health, based in the Gillings School, has developed and supported cutting-edge platforms and programs for innovative use of research evidence in global health policies, programs and practices. Increasingly, the focus of this work is improving scientific and technical support for the implementation of life-saving and life-enhancing innovations, especially in low and middle-income countries, where 99% of maternal and newborn deaths now occur.

Overcoming implementation challenges: The role of implementation science

The global health community is struggling with the challenge of implementing policies, programs, and practices successfully, sustainably, and at scale. Further, many of our most promising life-saving and life-enhancing innovations are not reaching the people they are intended to serve – especially those living in contexts in which availability and access to quality services is most challenging. Implementation science has much to offer on both fronts.

Early success, promise for the future

Supporting our ongoing commitment to science-driven, up-to-date guidance and building capacity for implementation research and implementation practice, the Collaborating Center is working at the interface between implementation challenges in countries and the scientific and technical support needed to address these challenges. In addition to supporting global guidance, we have developed a technically-sound, yet practical, set of programs that adds high value in providing technical support to key global stakeholders.

Influence and Impact

We are mission-driven and intend for our work to have profound positive influence and impact. On this front we are helping to lead and support a global effort toward assuring that global health policies, programs and practices are based on the best available science. Most recently, we have done likewise for building and applying the new discipline of implementation science in global health with the aim of assuring its practical application for supporting implementation as a practice in the field. We are currently at the forefront of building the capacity of country institutions for implementation research and implementation practice.


We are committed to developing, identifying, critically appraising, and synthesizing the best evidence for supporting implementation. As we begin to build our body of resources to achieve this mission, the Collaborating Center will develop a variety of accessible educational resources to enable researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to build skills using implementation science frameworks, methodologies and tools that improve support for implementation of evidence-based interventions successfully, sustainably, and at scale.

Our Team