Institutionalising Innovation – 3rd Peer-reviewed paper published

Global Health Science and Practice - Mobile LogoWe are delighted to see our third peer-reviewed paper accepted and published by the prestigious Global Health Science and Practice, a journal that focusses on real world implementation and the ‘how’ of implementation. Having written on this blog so extensively about our work over the years this is exactly the gap in our narrative we wanted to fill, succinctly and with academic rigour. This important peer-reviewed article has allowed us to analyse and explain HOW we operated in Zambia – from our first visits in 2010 and 2011, until we left the country in September 2018 – and what has happened since.  We demonstrate in this article that the scale-up of co-packaged ORS and Zinc in Zambia was successful. Since donor funding ended in 2018, things have gone from strength to strength under local systems. Sadly, with many donor-led interventions, this is not the case. Funding stops, and all too often change is not embedded and innovations falter. So, what did we do right? Are there any transferable lessons to embed other innovations more successfully? We think there are.

Implementation science is a new field. In this article, we refer to recommendations that we discovered only recently, part of the WHO/ExpandNet framework, and we use them to help analyse and describe how we worked. We would have found such a road map invaluable in 2010, but at the time, we were feeling our way forward – towards building a resilient partnership that would take the lead in future as we bowed out. This was always our intention. We were excited to find the framework and wanted to share how the ExpandNet recommendations worked in the Zambian case.  Co-packaged Oral Rehydration Salts and zinc for diarrhoea is now institutionalised in Zambia and local production is self-sustaining. What aspects of our implementation partnership and our wider approach led to this transformation in Zambia? There are lessons in here for everyone, particularly donors. We hope you enjoy the read!

Institutionalizing Innovation: From Pilot to Scale for Co-Packaged Oral Rehydration Salts and Zinc—A Case Study in Zambia

We wish to thank the editors, peer reviewers and copy editors at the journal Global Health: Science and Practice for their support in getting this into the public domain.

Related peer-reviewed publications

Emulating value-chains of fast-moving consumer goods to improve uptake of co-packaged ORS and zinc for childhood diarrhoea: evaluation of the ColaLife trial (2022)
Rohit Ramchandani, Simon Berry, Jane Berry, Stephen Tembo, Robert E Black. BMJ Innovations 2022;8:169-182.

Design thinking to improve rational use of oral rehydration salts: lessons from an innovative co-packaged diarrhoea treatment kit (2023)
Rohit Ramchandani, Simon Berry, Jane Berry, Beth Anne Pratt, Albert Saka, Robert E Black. BMJ Innovations 2023;9:132-143.

BMJ debate

Should we welcome multinational companies’ involvement in programmes to improve child health? (2015)
S Berry, J Berry, R Ramchandani, N Spencer. BMJ 2015;350:h3046