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Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. They exact a disproportionate toll in low and middle-income countries, and the world is not on-track to meet international targets for reductions in premature NCD mortality. Largely, we know which policies work for tackling NCDs, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a package of ‘best buy’ policies that are highly cost effective. However, we don’t necessarily know how to adapt and implement these policies in new populations and cultures. Implementation Research (IR) is emerging as a potent tool for gearing the international response, providing a scientific approach to study the processes used to implement policies and interventions and the contextual factors that affect these processes. Amidst growing interest from policymakers, we identify four main areas for action: high-level engagement with IR among international NCD leaders; domestic investment in technical capacity-building; the creation of new financing streams for IR research; and the development of multi-stakeholder engagement mechanisms that can convene and leverage the perspectives and resources of multiple actors with overlapping aims.

Original publication




Journal article


Globalization and Health

Publication Date