I-PARC (Irish – Physical Activity Research Collaboration) brings together researchers, policy makers and practitioners from physical activity (PA) in order to develop a systematic method for identifying examples of effective PA interventions and effective implementation strategies. This is an adaption of to the National Implementation Research Network’s (https://nirn.fpg.unc.edu/national-implementation-research-network) formula for success “Effective Interventions X Effective Implementation Methods X Enabling Context = Positive Outcomes”.
The National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP; https://www.getirelandactive.ie/Professionals/National-PA-Plan.pdf) provides the enabling context for PA interventions, however we know little about how to identify effective interventions and even less about effective implementation strategies applicable to the Irish context. I-PARC aims to better understand these aspects across three key work packages.
Work Package 1 aims to understand how a collaboration can develop and work in Ireland to answer the question “how can we successfully implement effective interventions for promoting physical activity in Ireland”. This involves bringing together researchers, practitioners and policy makers from PA working through a number of groups within I-PARC, including the project team, the practitioner advisory group and the research advisory panel.
Work Package 2 will identify what is an acceptable, yet evidence-based, method for determining the level of effectiveness of PA interventions in Ireland. Research methods include a literature review, key-informant interviews and a 2-stage Delphi process. Iterative co-design will guide the development of a standardised evaluation framework (SEF) suitable for use by the end users (i.e. those coordinating, evaluating or funding interventions). This SEF will facilitate the end-users in assessing, improving and communicating the effectiveness and usability of their PA interventions; and it will assist funders and policy-makers in evidence-based decision making for publicly funded programme development and their subsequent implementation or discontinuation (i.e. Effective Interventions: NPAP Action 53 and 54).
Work Package 3 aims to identify the barriers to, and facilitators of, successful implementation of effective PA interventions in Ireland. Research, guided by the Active Implementation Framework and international best practice , will include a literature review, a 2-stage online survey on the correlates of effective implementation and key informant interviews analysed via thematic analysis. Results will identify effective implementation criteria, develop recommendations and a framework for sustainable, accountable and an effective implementation practice. This information will enable knowledge-users and researchers to co-create a sustainable, accountable and effective implementation infrastructure to move specified NPAP to full implementation (i.e. Effective Implementation).