Guidance Note on Using Implementation Research in Education

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance and support to the implementers of education interventions, partner governments, and funders of education reform as they consider research priorities and learning agendas to achieve SDG 4: ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Although many interventions aiming to improve quality, inclusion, and equity in education have been tested around the world, it is not always clear from the existing research base why they work, for whom they work, and what are the defining contextual circumstances under which they work. Further, even though there is an increasingly robust body of evidence on 'what works', taking interventions to scale through government systems often requires multiple iterations to achieve fidelity and a full understanding of the wider ecosystem. 

Implementation research is concerned with why and how an intervention or reform works by considering the context, stakeholders, and process of implementation. This guidance note helps education stakeholders to design and oversee implementation research in order to answer questions and learn lessons about the contextual factors impacting the implementation of an intervention or reform in a particular government or implementer’s system. 

Resource Info

Resource Type



Published by

UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)
Building Evidence in Education (BE2)

Authored by

C. Allison


Research and Evidence