Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2016 Nov 14;9:31899.
doi: 10.3402/gha.v9.31899. eCollection 2016.

The Role of Implementation Science Training in Global Health: From the Perspective of Graduates of the Field's First Dedicated Doctoral Program

Free PMC article

The Role of Implementation Science Training in Global Health: From the Perspective of Graduates of the Field's First Dedicated Doctoral Program

Arianna R Means et al. Glob Health Action. .
Free PMC article


Bridging the 'know-do gap' is an enormous challenge for global health practitioners. They must be able to understand local health dynamics within the operational and social contexts that engender them, test and adjust approaches to implementation in collaboration with communities and stakeholders, interpret data to inform policy decisions, and design adaptive and resilient health systems at scale. These skills and methods have been formalized within the nascent field of Implementation Science (IS). As graduates of the world's first PhD program dedicated explicitly to IS, we have a unique perspective on the value of IS and the training, knowledge, and skills essential to bridging the 'know-do gap'. In this article, we describe the philosophy and curricula at the core of our program, outline the methods vital to IS in a global health context, and detail the role that we believe IS will increasingly play in global health practice. At this junction of enormous challenges and opportunities, we believe that IS offers the necessary tools for global health professionals to address complex problems in context and raises the bar of success for the global health programs of the future.

Keywords: curriculum; education; global health; implementation science; training.

Conflict of interest statement

and funding The authors have not received any funding or benefits from industry or elsewhere to conduct this study.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1 article


    1. Proctor E, Silmere H, Raghavan R, Hovmand P, Aarons G, Bunger A, et al. Outcomes for implementation research: conceptual distinctions, measurement challenges, and research agenda. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2011;38:65–76. - PMC - PubMed
    1. World Health Organization. Use of antiretroviral drugs for treating pregnant women and preventing HIV infection in infants: programmatic update. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2012.
    1. Tweya H, Gugsa S, Hosseinipour M, Speight C, Ng'ambi W, Bokosi M, et al. Understanding factors, outcomes and reasons for loss to follow-up among women in Option B+ PMTCT programme in Lilongwe, Malawi. Trop Med Int Health. 2014;19:1360–6. - PubMed
    1. Cowan JF, Micek M, Cowan JFG, Napúa M, Hoek R, Gimbel S, et al. Early ART initiation among HIV-positive pregnant women in central Mozambique: a stepped wedge randomized controlled trial of an optimized Option B+ approach. Imp Sci. 2015;10:61. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Herlihy JM, Hamomba L, Bonawitz R, Goggin CE, Sambambi K, Mwale J, et al. Implementation and operational research: integration of PMTCT and antenatal services improves combination antiretroviral therapy uptake for HIV-Positive pregnant women in Southern Zambia: a prototype for Option B+? J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2015;70:e123–9. - PMC - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources