The field of implementation science needs to prioritize evidence-informed interventions that fit the daily lives of the communities in which they will be delivered. Early prevention and intervention efforts have the potential to achieve goals related to service access and outcomes, but without an explicit focus on equity, most fail to do so. Equitable implementation occurs when strong equity components—including explicit attention to the culture, history, values, assets, and needs of the community—are integrated into the principles, strategies, frameworks, and tools of implementation science. While implementation science includes many frameworks, theories, and models, a blueprint for equitable implementation does not yet exist.

This supplement addresses critical aspects of equitable implementation and attempts to define concrete strategies for advancing equity in implementation and in efforts to scale it. The core elements for equitable implementation include building trusting relationships, dismantling power structures, making investments and decisions that advance equity, developing community-defined evidence, making cultural adaptations, and reflecting critically about how current implementation science theories, models, and frameworks do (or do not) advance equity. Case examples described in this supplement demonstrate how specific activities across these core implementation elements can address cultural, systemic, and structural norms that have embedded specific barriers against Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color.

We wanted two types of articles for this supplement: case examples from the field of implementation science that explicitly focus on equity, and case examples from community-driven implementation efforts to inform implementation science in the future. We required that community members serve as co-authors with implementation scientists and funders. The range of perspectives and experiences shared in these articles provides us with an important vantage point for exploring equitable implementation.

Read the full article about equitable implementation by Allison Metz, Beadsie Woo, and Audrey Loper at Stanford Social Innovation Review.