The European Implementation Event 2023

Creating a new normal:
Enhancing the relevance of implementation science for society

Welcome to the 2023 European Implementation Event, co-hosted by the European Implementation Collaborative and IMPACT – the Swiss Implementation Science Network.

The field of implementation science – and closely related disciplines such as knowledge translation/ mobilization or improvement science – has undergone tremendous development in the past decades. The joint ambition of those involved is to make the active use of evidence the “new normal” in the everyday thinking and doing of decision makers and others who form and shape practice and policy in health, social welfare and education.

Creating this new normal requires a strong foundation in implementation science. A science that is deeply rooted in and committed to practice. A science that builds on insights from behavioural and political science, sociology, economics, and other disciplines contributing to a thorough understanding of implementation. A science that is creative and bold.

Creating and sustaining this new normal also calls for novel types of collaborations and partnerships, involving researchers, funders, intermediaries, practice and policy stakeholders, service users and the public. And it requires inter- and trans-disciplinarity in implementation research.

This new normal – its current state of the art and ways to advance it – will take centre stage at the EIE2023. Presentations, debates and workshops will focus on how to enhance the relevance of current best implementation knowledge for practice and policy in health, social welfare and education, in Europe and beyond. Examples of relevant submission topics are:

Submission are welcome that consider the who, when, how, and so what of collaborative implementation research and practice. This includes participatory approaches and their potentials / challenges, ways to do implementation (research) work with various stakeholders, and approaches to and practice examples of patient and public involvement in implementation (research) work.

Hybrid thinking represents the intentional integration of seemingly opposite ideas, concepts, models or perspectives with the goal to enable and enhance the mainstream use of evidence in policy or practice. The EIE2023 welcomes submissions that showcase examples of and results from hybrid thinking when used in implementation practice or research.

The “implementation economy” remains a poorly understood phenomenon – in practice as well as in science. How can economic theory help to better inform implementation research and practice? What are the costs of implementing evidence in human service policy and practice? How can the setting aside of financial resources for implementation become mainstream? What are examples of effective funding structures supporting quality implementation research and practice? These and other questions will be at the centre of this topic.

Organizational and individual intermediaries – often also labelled knowledge brokers, facilitators, champions, consultants, change agents or implementation support practitioners – have gained a stronger presence in implementation science and practice in recent years. Submissions under this topic explore, assess and develop the role of these intermediaries in policy and practice and report on progress made in understanding their potential and limitations when working to promote quality implementation.

Methods represent tools that researchers use to collect and analyse data, ideally leading to a minimum of bias and a maximum of confidence in research results. Methods are also the instruments, tools, structures and processes developed and used in practice or policy to enable, monitor and scale the use of evidence in daily routines that are often characterized by busyness and scarce resources. In science as well as in practice and policy, there is a growing need for robust, transparent and systematic as well as rapid and pragmatic methods for supporting implementation processes. These methods are at the centre of submissions under the “choosing your amour” topic.

The potential to reduce disparities in society and to advance equity in health and education as well as social justice has been increasingly highlighted in the field of implementation science. Strategies such as partnering with marginalized groups, viewing and evaluating interventions as well as implementation activities through an equity lens, or identifying implementation barriers for marginalized groups have been suggested as possible ways forward toward reaching this potential both in implementation practice and science. Submissions under this topic focus on the ways in which an equity lens can become an integral part of implementation and help to replace a Eurocentric with alternative views on how implementation research can be conducted and quality implementation be practiced in different sectors and spheres.

Models, frameworks, and theories have obtained a central position in many implementation research projects, where they inform, e.g., implementation strategy design, implementation outcome selection, or data collection and analysis. They are also highly recommended as helpful tools in daily implementation practice, in the form of theories of change or logic models that can function as maps for guiding an implementation process. The EIE2023 welcomes submissions that assign the development, use and evaluation of theory in implementation science and practice a prominent place and help to learn how this work can support the creation of a “new normal”.

The above list of topics is not exhaustive, and submissions under alternative topics will be welcome as long as they consider how to create a new normal and enhance the relevance of current best implementation knowledge for practice and policy in health and human services.

The EIE2023 welcomes submissions from all settings and contexts in health, social welfare and education – and from all perspectives, i.e., from scientists, researchers, organizational leaders, practitioners, policymakers, funders and others. We also consider purely methodological or theoretical contributions.

Detailed information about submission formats can be found here and key dates here .

The EIE2023 will be held as an in-person event. We want to provide attendees with a much needed opportunity for direct exchange, discussion and networking and strengthen the implementation community in Europe and beyond.