Implementation Science Toolkit

Implementation Science

The work of the Next Steps NH project was grounded in Implementation Science. Implementation Science teaches us to start with the end in mind. Many implementation efforts fail because someone underestimated the scope or importance of preparation. It’s important to know the program you are trying to implement and what supports are needed for success.

Implementation research is the scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of evidence-based practices into routine practice, and hence, to improve the quality and effectiveness of . . . services and care (Eccles & Mittman, 2006).

What is Implementation Science? provides a good overview and fits implementation science in with other emerging fields of science. From the University of Washington.

The Basics of Implementation Science (PDF, 2015, 28 slides) is a PowerPoint presentation that reviews key elements of implementation science.

Implementation Drivers Overview (PDF, 2015, 2 pages) gives an overview of the three drivers: competency, organization, and leadership. Implementation Drivers assure development of relevant competencies, necessary organization supports, and engaged leadership.

You can apply action planning to each stage of implementation: Implementation stages action plan template (PDF, 4 pages, 2013). A good action plan includes:

  • Specific tasks to be completed
  • Identification of person(s) responsible for completion
  • Timeline for completion

Other places to learn about Implementation Science

National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) has articles and training modules in the Active Implementation Hub. The Active Implementation Hub is a free, online learning environment for use by any interested party involved in the active implementation and scaling up of programs and innovations.

The State Personnel Development Network maintains a resource library. Search on Implementation Science & Scaling Up.

Overview videos about implementation science

These videos will help demystify implementation science and give you an understanding of some important fundamental concepts, in nice short chunks! The first one is a high-level look at the art and science of implementation, from the Ontario Center of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, in 3:54-minutes.

The next five short videos were funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Each one succinctly captures an important piece of implementation science.

Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices

Implementation Teams

Coaching and Implementation

Fidelity and Implementation

Implementation in Schools

Participatory Adult Learning Styles (PALS)

To put implementation science theory into practice, we used the Participatory Adult Learning Styles (PALS) model for the training and coaching we provided our cohort schools. PALS is an evidence-based practice grounded in Implementation Science, developed by Carl J. Dunst, PhD and Carol M. Trivette, PhD. PALS provides a  structure to apply adult learning methods associated with positive learner outcomes. There are six characteristics:


1. Introduce

2. Illustrate


3. Practice

4. Evaluate

Informed Understanding

5. Reflection

6. Mastery

Updated 4-30-24