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In This Issue:

 

President's Letter



Dear Reader,
 
Welcome to our April Newsletter!
 
 The first quarter of 2017 has been a busy time for SISN, we have taken some important steps in putting our Strategic Plan into action and I am excited to share some of these with you in this Issue. The interest and growth in implementation research (IR) is also illustrated by the impressive collection of news items, research, reports, and training opportunities in our Resource Round-up section. I hope you find these useful and applicable to your work. 
 
SISN’s first strategic goal is to “Advance the Theory, Methods and Conduct of Implementation Science in Nutrition” and our feature article,  “The Many Forms and Purposes of Implementation Research in Nutrition”,  outlines the conceptual thinking used to guide the realization of this goal. In this article, I describe our overarching framework and typology, which was developed by adapting theories and models from relevant literatures as well as input from our Board Members and other implementation experts. We hope that this work will help advance the theory and practice of implementation and implementation science (IS). An initial application of this framework and typology will be the categorization and characterization of IS approaches. Our February blog, Stakeholder Engagement: An Important Tool to Understanding and Improving Program Decision-Making, is an example of such an approach.
 
I will be describing the framework and typology in more detail in an upcoming, open access, webcast. We will alert you by email when it is available and hope that it will benefit your own understanding of SISN’s thinking and that you will share it widely. This webcast is the first of a series where, among other things, we will be showcasing ‘real world’ examples of IR for nutrition in low- and middle-income countries.

Whilst the last year has seen a rapid expansion of our outbound communications we are also very keen to solicit inbound communication in the form of your opinions and involvement in the Society’s work. It is your Society and we are your representatives so we want to accurately represent your agendas and ensure the Society benefits from your ideas and expertise. I am honoured that our esteemed Board Member, Gretel Pelto, has agreed to lead our activities in strengthening methods related to IR. To this end, she is seeking your input on the needs, challenges, and opportunities for methods in IR. Please take a moment to share your thoughts and contribute to this very important project. We also currently have a number of other ways in which you can get involved. Consider joining us at the SISN symposium at Experimental Biology in Chicago for three engaging presentations and an active discussion on IR in nutrition, or apply for one of our volunteering opportunities
. In addition, if you haven’t already done so please ‘follow’ and ‘share’ us on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay abreast of the latest SISN news and help us raise visibility of the Society and its mission.

Sadly, unforseen technical issues earlier this year delayed the launch of our new website, but we are delighted to announce that these have now been resolved and the launch is imminent. The much expanded site will be the hub for our communications activity, with details on the Society and its work, and dedicated sections for blogs, membership and resources (which will be added on a continual basis). You will shortly receive an e-alert to let you know that the website is live, so please watch out for this, and take a moment to explore the new site. 

There is still a long road ahead of us as we roll out our Strategic Plan, but these first few steps are key in creating the necessary foundations and fuelling momentum. We thank you for your support and we look forward to your continued involvement.
 
Yours, 



Dr David Pelletier,
SISN President, 2016-17

The Many Forms and Purposes of Implementation Research in Nutrition: Definitions, Domains and Distinctions for Advancing Research and Practice

 
This feature article provides a summary of SISN’s conceptual and theoretical thinking concerning the various domains that affect implementation quality, and defines functional areas that may benefit from implementation research (IR). SISN’s broad view of implementation and implementation science (IS) is defined, and a framework and typology are introduced for understanding the many different forms and purposes of implementation. This reasoning shapes the foundation for SISN’s vision, goals and imperatives that together form our Strategic Plan. We hope that this approach will ultimately address the profound challenge of achieving high quality and sustainable implementation and impact at-scale.

Get Involved


Interested in Implementation Research Methods? We need your help!

IMPORTANT MESSAGE AND REQUEST FROM GRETEL PELTO. HEAD OF SISN'S METHODS WORKING GROUP:


Meeting members’ needs with respect to methods and methods development is an important aspect of the SISN plan.  As a member of the SISN board, I’ve taken responsibility for organizing the first activities to support SISN in the area of “Methods” and “Methods Development.” Our first activity is an e-discussion to learn about where  the methodological needs, challenges and opportunities lie for implementation research (IR). This e-discussion is an opportunity to share your opinions and ideas, and help shape the next steps.
 
How to contribute – Please send us an email with the subject – ‘Methods IR’ and share your thoughts about methods for IR, the need, challenges and opportunities.  Among the topics, consider writing about:
  1. Methods that you are currently using and any problems you face and/or solutions you have found that could be shared with others?
  2. Innovative methods in other fields that you have applied in your own work to answer questions relevant to IR. 
  3. Your wish list of resources you would like to have available.
  4. Methods training opportunities that you are aware of or would like to give.  
  5. Your views on how SISN could support methods development and dissemination (e.g. webinars, series of papers, reviews of the methods, etc.)
Undoubtedly there are many other issues and questions; we welcome your thoughts and ideas. Please respond to implementnutrition@gmail.com by April 30th 2017, so that we can move forward with this project expeditiously. Thank you in advance for your contribution. Of related interest is our vacancy for a volunteer to join the Methods Working Group, further details are provided below. 
 

Volunteer with us!

Volunteering with SISN provides a great opportunity to work with the members of the Board, develop your networks and stay abreast of the latest advancements in implementation research and practice. We encourage members with the skills and passion for advancing IR to apply. Currently, two roles are open, each requiring a commitment of several hours per month: 

SISN Membership Working Group - Volunteer Role

SISN Methods Working Group - Volunteer Role


How to Apply?
Please send an email entitled "Membership Working Group Volunteer" and/or "Methods Working Group Volunteer" to implementnutrition@gmail.com with an up-to-date copy of your CV and a brief supporting statement by April 30th 2017.

Resource Round-Up

 

Relevant news


National Information Platforms for Nutrition
National Information Platforms for Nutrition (NIPN) is a European Commission led initiative aiming to support the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) countries by strengthening their information systems for nutrition and improving the analysis of data, so as to better inform the strategic decisions these countries face in preventing malnutrition and its consequences. Learn more about this new initiative in this five minute video.


Implementation Research in South Asia
There have been several noteworthy events in India and Bangladesh focused on forwarding the implementation agenda in this region. These included two conferences. Delivering for Nutrition in India: Learnings from Implementation Research (IR), which was held Nov 9-10, 2016 in New Delhi. All presentations from this, India’s first ever nutrition implementation conference, are available and can be accessed here. More recently the Delivering for Success at Scale Conference 
took place Feb 7-8, 2017 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. For an in-depth commentary on the conference, read Dr Nick Nisbett's blog. Finally, in December, BRAC School of Public Health opened a new Centre of Science of Implementation and Scale-Up. 

 
Research
Creating Sustainable Collaborations for Implementation Science: The Case of the NIH-PEPFAR PMTCT Implementation Science Alliance.
Sturke, R., Siberry, G., Mofenson, L., Watts, D. H., McIntyre, J. A., Brouwers, P., & Guay, L. (2016).  JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 72, S102-S107.
Although it deals with prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT), this article has many translatable learnings for nutrition as it reflects on the insightful collective learning of the NIH-PEPFAR PMTCT Implementation Science (IS) Alliance (the Alliance). Of particular relevance to implementers, is the extent to which the Alliance stands as a model that can inform future investments in IS in other sectors.

Improving the adaptability of WHO evidence-informed guidelines for nutrition actions: results of a mixed methods evaluation.
Dedios, M., Esperato, A., De-Regil, L., Peña-Rosas, J., & Norris, S. (2017). Implementation Science, 12(1).

This independent evaluation found that despite the good methodological quality of the WHO nutrition guidelines, key areas for improvement are the limited implementability of the recommendations, the lack of explicit and precise implementation advice in the guidelines and challenges related to collaborative work within interdisciplinary groups.

 
Setting an implementation research agenda for Canadian investments in global maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health: a research prioritization exercise.
Sturke, R., Siberry, G., Mofenson, L., Watts, D., McIntyre, J., Brouwers, P., & Guay, L. (2016). JAIDS Journal Of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 72, S102-S107. 
Researchers in Canada have identified the top research priorities on the implementation of maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (MNCAH) interventions and call for these to be translated into appropriate and transparent funding opportunities.


Using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) to produce actionable findings: a rapid-cycle evaluation approach to improving implementation.
Keith, R., Crosson, J., O’Malley, A., Cromp, D., & Taylor, E. (2017). Implementation Science, 12(1). 
Read how scientists have used the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) to improve implementation effectiveness and strategies. The authors believe CFIR has broad application and encourage others to use it.

Mid-level actors and their operating environments for implementing nutrition-sensitive programming in Ethiopia.
Warren, A. & Frongillo, E. (2017). Global Food Security.
The results of this analysis show that existing service delivery platforms are insufficient to host nutrition-sensitive programs. Implementation will fail without understanding overarching systemic factors.

 
Understanding the role of intersectoral convergence in the delivery of essential maternal and child nutrition interventions in Odisha, India: a qualitative study.
Kim, S., Avula, R., Ved, R., Kohli, N., Singh, K., & van den Bold, M. et al. (2017). BMC Public Health, 17(1). 
In this study, researchers examine how intersectoral convergence in nutrition programming is operationalized and the factors influencing convergence in policy implementation and service delivery.
 
Reports
Starting from context: how to make strategic decisions to promote a better interaction between knowledge and policy.
How does context influence our efforts to strengthen the link between knowledge and policy? This excellent practical resource can be used by policymakers, researchers, and capacity building experts to understand how the context at the level of government institutions affects the use of knowledge in policy. Check out the interactive framework developed for ease of use!

 
This compendium offers World Bank Task Team Leaders (TTLs) practical instructions for designing, implementing and evaluating incentives for improved nutrition outcomes. The key focus is on how to incorporate nutrition results in other relevant sectors, such as WASH or agriculture. This report will help the World Bank to design financial packages to trigger increased investments in nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive projects across multiple sectors.
 

Training
Practical Workshop on Evidence Based Policy Making and Implementation
Apr 17-21, 2017. Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.
A 5-day practical workshop designed to help leaders understand how evidence can help them to make the best decisions about policies, programmes, services and budgets.


Cochrane Canada Symposium 2017: Evidence and Impact: Engaging consumers, practitioners, researchers and policy makers
May 11-12, 2017. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Learn to apply the latest research, tools and techniques to ensure evidence can be used in healthcare decision making.

UCSF Summer Institute: Research in Implementation Science for Equity (RISE)
July 9-21, 2017. San Francisco, USA. 
Junior faculty and transitioning post-doctorates are encouraged to apply to this Summer Institute on both IS and Careers-In-Progress.


University of California San Francisco Online Implementation Science Courses and Certificate Program 
Fall (September–December) or Winter (January-March), 2017/2018. San Francisco, USA.
A one-year, part-time program consisting of a series of IR courses. Ideal for scholars who are actively involved in implementing a health intervention or quality improvement program.


Do you have any soon-to-be released peer-reviewed articles, resources, or events that you want to share? We are happy to consider including them in our newsletter. Please send a 1-2 sentence descriptor as to the items relevance to IR/IS, along with a link to the related webpage to implementnutrition@gmail.com
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Opinions, compilations and figures contained in the signed articles do not necessarily represent the point of view of SISN and are solely the responsibility of the authors. 
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