A special issue of the Pan American Journal of Public Health published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) with the support of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (AHPSR), provides scientific evidence supporting stakeholder centred implementation research as a crucial component of effective public health and clinical policies and programs.  This special issue demonstrates that relevant and demand-driven research has the potential to make significant improvements to the implementation and scale-up of existing health interventions.

Since 2014, PAHO and the AHPSR have carried out an embedded research initiative in the Region, entitled Improving Program Implementation through Embedded Research (iPIER), to address context-specific factors and advance toward population health impact. iPIER takes a unique approach to research by placing affected stakeholders-policymakers, district health officers, program managers, and frontline health workers-at the center of the research process. This ensures that relevant evidence is gathered during the research process, which can be effectively translated into improvements to preexisting health policies and programs. 

This special series of thePan American Journal of Public Healthpresents the rationale that underpins the embedded research initiative and the findings of 10 of these projects conducted within various health system settings in the Region. The series aims to provide critical knowledge emanating from the research, while documenting the general embedded research process and its potential outcomes. Through the iPIER initiative, PAHO brings its expertise supporting research in the Region to advocate for this innovative way of developing and using science

The special issue of the Pan American Journal of Public Health on implementation research can be found at: www.paho.org/journal