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Our approach

Embedding health service delivery research into national agendas


At COMDIS-HSD, we believe that operational research is best prioritised, designed, conducted and replicated when it is embedded within ministries of health and national programmes. We identify national and local priorities before designing any research intervention. We call this our ‘embedded research approach’ and there are 4 stages to this:

Stage 1: In line with ministry of health priorities, design and develop a service delivery package, including guidelines and materials, which can be implemented at scale if shown to be effective.

Stage 2: Pre-test and pilot the service delivery package, as well as research tools, in partnership with local NGOs and ministries.

Stage 3: Implement the service delivery package once any necessary changes (identified in pre-testing and piloting) have been agreed, and evaluate the impact of the package.

Stage 4: Scale up successful service delivery packages with support from ministries and NGOs. This involves getting the evidence from using the service delivery package into national and international policy and practice.

Our embedded approach develops research questions from the perspective of the users and decision makers and then conducts the research and evaluation process at their sites. This approach typically includes developing or redesigning necessary guidelines and tools.

This multi-stage approach to research and development is supported by strong research uptake activities and communication tools. These help to maximise the impact our research findings have on policy and practice, nationally and internationally.