ICARS takes a holistic approach to transform evidence to practice.
Antimicrobial resistance is a complex issue. The spread of infection between animals, humans and in the environment means that we must move away from isolated interventions in a single sector.
All our activities are solution-focused and involve a range of disciplines and sectors. We take a holistic One Health approach focusing on humans, animals (terrestrial and aquatic), plants, food, and the environment. In addition, as over-usage of antibiotics and thereby antimicrobial resistance is to a large extent a societal challenge, we take into consideration social, behavioural and economical aspects.
The ICARS strategy is based on four interconnected pillars:
- Develop and test context-specific solutions for AMR mitigation
- Translate existing evidence into action
- Advocate for Intervention and Implementation Research as an important tool to tackle AMR
- Support targeted capacity and capability building of AMR champions in LMICs
Pillar 1: Develop and test context-specific solutions for AMR mitigation
ICARS partners with low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to develop and test solutions and associated implementation strategies to mitigate AMR and generate new evidence that can be implemented at a large scale.
Our framework of engagement with LMIC ministries advances the implementation of National Action Plans (NAPs) by developing and testing AMR solutions and associated implementation strategies. Upon discussions with LMIC ministries, we initiate a stepwise process ensuring the co-development of high-quality Implementation Research projects with potential for real-world impact.
When developing these projects, we adopt a participatory approach that integrates scientific investigation, capacity-building and policy impact by working closely with both national and local policymakers, academics, researchers, professionals, businesses, communities, and wider stakeholders as appropriate.
The current operating model of ICARS includes financing and co-developing small scale ‘demonstration projects’ to test specific solutions over a 2-3 year period. The financial support we offer for the development and implementation of each project is typically approximately 0.5 million USD but can vary depending on the scope and size of the research project. It is the expectation that the size and scope of projects will grow over the coming years.
ICARS enters into funded “hands-on” partnerships with LMICs and provides support throughout the development and implementation of the research projects with view to their adoption and scale-up in national policies and practices.
Are you government official of a low- or middle-income country that is committed to fighting AMR, that could use support from ICARS to implement its National Action Plan? Click here to find out more about the application process.
Pillar 2: Translate existing evidence into action
ICARS supports the translation of existing evidence into country policies, programmes and practice to close the knowledge gap between evidence-based interventions and solutions and their practical implementation in LMICs.
A wealth of research projects have resulted in evidence-based recommendations for policymakers and practitioners to implement solutions for preventing, containing and mitigating AMR. Yet most of the findings have so far been limited to academic and scientific publications, with little translation into policy, programmes or practice. At ICARS, we analyse and review the existing evidence, while engaging with and facilitating dialogue between the research community and the relevant ministries to identify barriers and enablers for the implementation of such solutions. ICARS can support activities including but not limited to research, reviews, empowerment, and policy briefs to expedite translation into policy and practice.
Pillar 3: Advocate for intervention and Implementation Research as an important tool to tackle AMR
ICARS engages with national and international partners to raise awareness and promote the need for Implementation Research in AMR as a means to deliver on NAPs, as well as advocate for more investment in this area of research.
We aim to influence more funders and policymakers, at a national and international level, to prioritise this area of research and increase their investment. In addition, our goal is to become the ‘go to’ partner for AMR Implementation Research and intervention development in LMICs.
Pillar 4: Support targeted capacity and capability of AMR champions in LMICs
To support the implementation of targeted activities to tackle AMR ICARS provides policymakers and professionals in partner LMICs with relevant training. Through our work we are contributing to the creation and nurturing of a critical mass of researchers and local ‘AMR champions’ with the knowledge and skills to conduct and advocate for Implementation Research.