A major obstacle to the progress of the Millennium Development Goals has been the inability of health systems in many low- and middle-income countries to effectively implement evidence-informed interventions. This article discusses the relationships between implementation research and knowledge translation and identifies the role of implementation research in the design and execution of evidence-informed policy. After a discussion of the benefits and synergies needed to translate implementation research into action, the article discusses how implementation research can be used along the entire continuum of the use of evidence to inform policy. It provides specific examples of the use of implementation research in national level programmes by looking at the scale up of zinc for the treatment of childhood diarrhoea in Bangladesh and the scaling up of malaria treatment in Burkina Faso. A number of tested strategies to support the transfer of implementation research results into policy-making are provided to help meet the standards that are increasingly expected from evidence-informed policy-making practices.