NIRN Expands its Research Agenda

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NIRN Co-Director Allison Metz discusses new avenues and opportunities to keep NIRN on the cutting edge of implementation science and research.

"This is an exciting time for NIRN to continue building the science and practice of implementation and achieving social impact globally," says NIRN Co-Director Allison Metz. “Fresh off an exciting Global Implementation Conference, we all realize there is lots of new work on the horizon.”

Metz says NIRN will continue building implementation capacity with the Active Implementation Frameworks, as well as to share lessons, tools, and resources through the growing online Active Implementation Hub.  

“NIRN's research agenda is also growing with focuses in several areas,” Metz explained. “Recent emphasis has been on developing and testing implementation capacity measures for different levels of complex service systems. This includes assessing the relationships among implementation capacity, high fidelity implementation of program of practices, and positive outcomes.”

Caryn Ward, senior implementation specialist at NIRN, says sound measures of implementation capacity and other constructs are essential to forming and guiding NIRN’s capacity building efforts.  “Our current capacity measurement efforts have also included developing resources for building competency of administrators. For example,  District Capacity Assessment now has an online training short course for administrators of the assessment,” says Ward.

According to Metz, NIRN also is studying the roles of stakeholders and relationships in supporting the use of research evidence through co-creation processes.

“Co-creation unites potential stakeholders to create an outcome they all value,” Metz explained. Co-created value occurs, for instance, when researchers, policy makers, service providers, and communities come together to select, implement, and sustain programs and practices that will address needs and improve outcomes.  “Co-creation models already are used in health, business, and public service sectors predominately in the United Kingdom and Nordic regions to promote collaborative problem solving,” Metz said. “There are several research questions we’re exploring, including what strategies enhance co-creative capacity.” 

Two new NIRN projects are taking on the challenge of looking at the potential of co-creation and implementation science.

“Implementation science and field knowledge are growing at a rapid pace,” Metz emphasized. “NIRN looks forward to continuing to learn together with our partners around the globe to improve outcomes across the spectrum of human services."

Related Resources:

Implementation Brief -
The Potential of Co-Creation in Implementation Science

Learn more:
The District Capacity Assessment