Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) bear the brunt of communicable and non-communicable diseases and experience higher mortality and poor health outcomes compared to resource-rich countries. Chronic resource deficits in LMICs impede their ability to successfully address vexing health issues. Implementation science provides researchers with an approach to develop specific interventions that can generate and/or maximize resources to facilitate the implementation of other public health interventions, in resource-constrained LMIC settings. Resources generated from these interventions could be in the form of increased health workers’ skills, task shifting to free up higher-skilled health workers, increasing laboratory capacity, and using supply chain innovations to make medications available. Pivotal to the success of such interventions is ensuring feasibility in the LMIC context. We selected and appraised three case studies of evidence-based resource-generating health interventions based in LMICs (Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar), which generated or maximized resources to facilitate ongoing health services. We used a determinant implementation framework—Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) to identify and map contextual factors that are reported to influence implementation feasibility in an LMIC setting. Contextual factors influencing the feasibility of these interventions included leadership engagement, local capacity building and readiness for research and implementing evidence-based practices (EBPs), infrastructural support for multilevel scale-up, and cultural and contextual adaptations. These factors highlight the importance of utilizing implementation science frameworks to evaluate, guide, and execute feasible public health interventions and projects in resource-limited settings. Within LMICs, we recommend EBPs incorporate feasible resource-generating components in health interventions to ensure improved and sustained optimal health outcomes.
The role of implementation science in advancing resource generation for health interventions in low- and middle-income countries
Health Services Insights, 14, 1-12. doi: 10.1177/1178632921999652. PMCID: PMC7970459.