Implementation Network and Initiative

Status: Ongoing


Practitioners, policy-makers and researchers all over the world are looking for innovative and effective interventions. But once they have these interventions, many are finding that delivering them in a way that improves people’s lives is extremely difficult. This is where implementation plays an important role.

By implementation, we mean planned, intentional activities undertaken with the aim of making evidence-informed policies and practices work better for people. It can be thought of as the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’, and is applicable in any sector from health to children and education to justice.

While evidence and knowledge of effective interventions has increased rapidly, results have not necessarily improved in line with these levels of knowledge. Learning from examples of implementation, both good and bad, can help support the successful delivery of these interventions for the benefit of all children, adults, families and communities.

Implementation Network of Ireland and Northern Ireland

In 2011, we established the Implementation Network of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and have maintained and developed the Network since then. The Network brings together senior policy-makers, service-providers, managers, practitioners and researchers from all over the country to promote learning about implementation. The Network meets twice a year, and in between these meetings, knowledge is shared in several other ways, including in learning communities and newsletters.

Our Role

Implementation is a significant part of our day to day work in CES. Two examples of projects where we currently support organisations to implement programmes are:

  1. The Area Based Childhood (ABC) Programme – Interventions aimed at tackling aspects of child poverty across thirteen areas of disadvantage in Ireland.
  2. Reaching Out, Supporting Families – Community and voluntary services helping families in Northern Ireland to cope with adversity and engage positively with communities in which they live.

To generate interest and build skills in implementation, we also undertake other activities:

  • We provide access to a range of implementation resources on our website. These vary from introductory guides to in-depth analyse of specific topics in implementation, such as fidelity or implementation teams. It also includes useful links to tools and sources of information that can help guide implementation in real world settings.