Themes

The Conference program has been structured under six broad themes with each theme addressing key questions listed below. 

We invited submissions for presentations addressing each of these themes and the questions that relate to them.

Theme 1:        

Building a shared understanding of implementation terms, concepts and theories
How do current theories and models of implementation relate to the everyday realities of policy development and service delivery? 

  • What do we mean when we talk about “the science” of dissemination and implementation?
  • What theoretical models underpin research in dissemination and implementation?
  • Why is it important to develop a common language and common measures for dissemination and implementation and how can we go about it?

Theme 2:        

Designing policies and programs with implementation in mind
How can we incorporate sound implementation principles into the design of policies and programs to maximise effectiveness on the ground?

  • Are some policies and programs more or less difficult to implement and why?
  • What features of policy and program design enhances ease of implementation?
  • How can we design effective policies and programs that also allow for adaptation to suit local conditions and different client groups?
  • How do we design policies and programs that build stakeholder commitment, engagement and momentum to ensure longer-term sustainability?

Theme 3:        

Selecting policies and programs that work “in the real world”
Where do we find the evidence (and how reliable, accessible and useful is it) to support the selection of policies and programs that will best meet the needs and issues of different groups and communities living in different settings?

  • Where’s the evidence on policy and program effectiveness and how good is it?
  • How relevant is the evidence to “real world” experiences and applications and how do we assess whether it is or not?
  • What do policy makers and practitioners need to consider in selecting policies or programs to suit a local context or specific client group?

Theme 4:        

Barriers and facilitators to effective implementation 
What factors (operating at a systemic, organisational, administrative, and/or staffing level) support effective implementation and what factors work against it?

  • What gets in the way of effective implementation?
  • What systems and structures support implementation effectiveness?
  • How important is “the human factor” in effective implementation – the personal qualities and skills of organisational leaders, staff members and clients?

Theme 5:        

Applying implementation principles and processes in policy and practice
How do implementation principles and processes work in practice? What can we learn from the practical experience of others on what’s been tried, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked and why?

  • What implementation frameworks are being developed or have already been tried in Australia to support the implementation process, and how well did they work?
  • What training is required and what’s the best way to provide it?
  • How can we improve implementation effectiveness on a tight budget?
  • How can we make best use of new technology, e-Health, social media etc to support more effective implementation?

Theme 6:        

Evaluating implementation effectiveness
How and why do we measure the impact of implementation processes on policy and practice outcomes and what can we learn from the evaluations that have already been conducted? 

  • Why is it important to evaluate implementation effectiveness?
  • What evaluations have been conducted into how effectively policies, programs and innovations were implemented – and what did they find?
  • What methods and measures have been used to study implementation processes and mechanisms in different contexts? Are there any stand-out approaches among them?
  • What issues and topics are currently being investigated by implementation scientists and why?