Eight Strategies for Research to Practice

This primer, written by Eva Canoutas, Lauren Hart and Trinity Zan for FHI360, outlines eight strategies that can be used to facilitate the use of research evidence in development practice.  The strategies are based on a growing body of evidence which explains how to plan, implement and disseminate research to facilitate its translation into practice.


"An important goal of human development research is to generate evidence to guide improvements in policies and practices. Increasingly pressed to use proven approaches and to terminate strategies that do not work, development agencies look to research to better understand problems, to inform decision making and to identify effective solutions. Despite the critical role of research, a large gap often exists between the evidence and its widespread use in development programs

This “research-to-practice gap” is augmented by several factors, including limited stakeholder involvement in research, pilot project designs with little consideration for scale-up, feeble attempts to disseminate research findings and advocate their use, and the absence of tools and systematic efforts to replicate and expand evidence-based interventions. These barriers may be particularly evident in resource-constrained settings, where weak health systems further challenge the incorpora tion of research into practice."


  • Include key stakeholders in research to increase the likelihood of producing useful research findings
  • Design and evaluate pilot projects to enhance the potential for future replication and scale-up
  • Develop and implement a plan for disseminating research findings to key audiences
  • Develop and implement a plan for disseminating research findings to key audiences
  • Develop and implement a plan for disseminating research findings to key audiences
  • Develop job aids to help practitioners implement new evidence-based policies or guidelines
  • Replicate interventions that have been proven effective
  • Scale up interventions that have been proven effective


Canoutas, E., Hart, L., and Zan, T., (2012)  Eight Strategies for Research to Practice​, FHI360. Retrieved from: http://www.fhi360.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/eight-strategies-for-research-to-practice.pdf

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