Systems Alignment Innovation Hub

The Systems Alignment Innovation Hub (SAIH) is a nationwide project launched in November 2022 to help medical, social service, and public health providers in low-income and BIPOC communities dismantle inequities and improve health and well-being for all. SAIH, housed within TAC’s Racial Equity Action Lab, is a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s national Systems for Action Research Program.

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Why a Systems Alignment Innovation Hub?

After conducting a thorough review of the Systems for Action (S4A) grantee portfolio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the S4A Program Office determined there was a unique opportunity to include practice-based organizations (PBOs). PBOs often have promising ideas for systems alignment, but may face difficulties in moving these ideas forward into rigorous research studies. This could create a gap in the questions being asked and solutions being tested; would less traditional researchers have different questions and approaches? A key aim of the S4A program is to connect research findings with end users, but how would that aim shift if a PBO were conducting the research?
 The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's S4A program developed the Systems Alignment Innovation Hub (SAIH) to recruit and support less experienced researchers, especially PBOs working in low-income and BIPOC communities. SAIH is housed at the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC), a nonprofit consulting firm committed to dismantling institutional racism as they help human services, health care, homelessness, and affordable housing systems empower people to live healthy, independent lives in the communities they choose. The Human Services Research Institute is also a partner in the SAIH. The purpose of SAIH is to empower PBOs to access, develop, and lead research and implementation of systems alignment strategies for racially and socially marginalized communities, informed by their culture, needs, priorities, and values.

SAIH does this by providing 4 specific services:

  • Free technical assistance and consultation services to develop and tests systems alignment strategies
  • A peer learning network to foster a community of practice with like minded organizations
  • Targeted research funding for the development, testing, and implementation of systems alignment strategies
  • Tools, guides, and resources to support these efforts.

*The SAIH put out their first request for proposals in summer 2023 and is currently working with their first cohort of grantees.