Launch of the Norwegian Network for Implementation Research (NIMP): Proceedings from the First Annual Conference
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Implementation research is growing in Norway, and the importance of implementation science for health and welfare improvements is gaining awareness across sectors. The Norwegian health and welfare systems have unique features that influence implementation research and practice, and context-specific implementation research is needed to solve Norwegian implementation issues. Implementation science has been fragmented, with limited connections between implementation researchers, disseminators, policymakers, and practitioners. Calls for a national network for implementation research echoed for several years, and in 2020 the Norwegian Network for Implementation Research (NIMP) was founded, and the first annual NIMP conference was held. With implementation science proliferating globally, similar efforts may be on the horizon in other countries. This paper describes the rationale and approach for developing NIMP, presents proceedings from the 2020 NIMP conference, and discusses the role of a national network in mobilizing implementation science communities and advancing an implementation science agenda nationally. NIMP was developed as an independent organization with six board members elected at a general assembly. NIMPs aims are to (1) raise awareness about implementation science in Norway, (2) promote sharing and exchange of knowledge from implementation research in Norway, and (3) facilitate implementation collaboration within Norway and internationally. One hundred forty-four implementation researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and students from across Norway attended the NIMP conference. There were 13 presentations of implementation research from different settings within health care, welfare services, and education. Themes included implementation strategies, barriers and facilitators, implementation theories and frameworks, and evaluation of implementation outcomes. The presentations showcased at the NIMP conference substantiated the need to connect and mobilize the implementation science community in Norway. Implementation issues are large and numerous, and more contemporary implementation research questions and designs may be required to solve them. NIMP needs to inform stakeholders in policy about the need for dedicated implementation research to improve our health and welfare systems. Critical implementation issues may require ambitious investments in implementation research. Our approach to developing a national implementation network may be of interest to aspiring networks in other countries.