for Sexual and Reproductive Health
Implementing Global Health Solutions: Bringing Science to Practice for the World’s Women, Children, and Adolescents
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.
Implementing solutions in women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health: successfully, sustainably and at scale
Under the leadership of Herbert Peterson, MD, Kenan Distinguished Professor of maternal and child health and of obstetrics and gynecology, the Collaborating Center supports the mission of the United Nations’ Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health to achieve the health and well-being of every woman, every child, and every adolescent. It provides this support by developing and applying the new and rapidly evolving field of implementation science to assure that our most promising life-saving and life-enhancing innovations reach the women, children, and adolescents who need them, successfully and sustainably. This work includes building capacity for implementation research and implementation practice in countries, with the guiding principle that implementation practice drives implementation research which, in turn, supports implementation practice.
Implementing solutions: rethinking research evidence
The World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Research Evidence for Sexual and Reproductive Health, based in the Gillings School, was originally designated in 2008 and has been redesignated every four years—most recently in 2020. Over this period, it has supported the generation and use of research evidence for developing and implementing guidelines in global health policies, programs and practices. Increasingly, our focus in this regard is exploring the use of novel research methods to generate and use research evidence for effective implementation. An additional priority is building capacity for implementation research and practice, 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 are 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 are increasingly exploring the use of novel research methods to generate and use research evidence for effective implementation. Further, we have developed a technically-sound, yet practical, set of programs that add 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.