The international discussion on the meaning, complexity and concepts of knowledge exchange, knowledge translation and other related terms is making an important contribution to how we do research. The selections from the literature on this page focus on:
- Knowledge exchange resources from the Lowitja Institute
- Knowledge exchange within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community contexts
- Reviews, frameworks and planning of knowledge exchange
Knowledge exchange resources from the Lowitja Institute
Laycock, A., Walker, D., Harrison, N. & Brands, J. 2011, 'Chapter 5: Using research for change', in Researching Indigenous health: A practical guide for researchers, The Lowitja Institute, Melbourne, pp. 103–30.
This chapter defines knowledge exchange in research, and talks about how to make research more effective in the Indigenous health research sector. It identifies factors that impact upon knowledge exchange and offers strategies to help ensure that knowledge from research is used to improve Indigenous people’s health-related services.
Brands, J. & Gooda, M. 2006, 'Putting the users of research in the driver’s seat', Australian Aboriginal Studies, no. 2, pp. 27–35.
Research has a bad name in many Aboriginal communities… Increasingly, since the 1980s, Aboriginal peoples have been asserting their right to control research. Often this control has been applied through ethics processes, or through the use of Indigenous methodologies. The Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health represents a further development in the control of Aboriginal health research by Aboriginal peoples. It provides a mechanism for directing the development, funding, conduct and dissemination of research in ways designed to maximise the likely benefits of the research for Aboriginal peoples—to do ‘good’ research. This has led to the development of a new model for the research industry, in which research priorities are set by the Aboriginal health sector, research projects are developed through facilitated collaboration with research users, and even the peer review or quality assurance process is very different.
Congress Lowitja 2012: Theme: Knowledge Exchange and Translation into Practice, 14-15 November 2012, Melbourne.
Knowledge exchange resources within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community contexts
Bowen, S., Martens, P. & The Need to Know Team 2005, 'Demystifying knowledge translation: Learning from the community', Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 203–11.
The objective of this paper is to explore, through the participatory evaluation of Manitoba’s The Need to Know Project, the characteristics of effective knowledge translation initiatives from the perspective of community partners’ rather than the perspective of researchers.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) 2008, Knowledge to action: A knowledge translation casebook, CIHR, Ottawa.
A collection of case studies that detail important lessons about successful integrated knowledge exchange, including the involvement of end-users, consideration of all stakeholders, customising the message to specific audiences, overcoming usage obstacles, and communicating the benefits of knowledge translation. Case 10 summarises a project that aims to get health information to a dispersed urban Aboriginal population in Ottawa.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) 2006, 'Aboriginal health', in Moving population and public health knowledge into action: A casebook of knowledge translation stories, CIHR, Ottawa, pp. 10–22.
‘The collection represents a naturally broad cross-section of experiences—ranging from the use of research-based theatre in a knowledge translation initiative with injured workers, to developing a community health tool kit in partnership with Indigenous health organizations, to a large-scale international collaboration to identify issues in globalization, gender, and health. The cases in this Casebook are first-hand, personal stories. We asked contributors to be frank about their successes and failures and to report, from their own experiences, what worked, what didn’t and the lessons they learned. This Casebook is not intended to be a replacement for insights gained from systematic reviews of the growing KT literature. But many of these stories echo common themes about conducting KT in the Canadian context’ (p. 6). Case studies are organised under the themed sections of: Aboriginal Health, Child and Youth Health, Women’s health, Occupational and workplace health, Infectious and chronic diseases.
Estey, E., Smylie, J. & Macaulay, A. 2009, Aboriginal knowledge translation: Understanding and respecting the distinct needs of Aboriginal communities in research, Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health (CIHR–IAPH), Ontario.
‘In Western science-based contexts, KT has also been described by its purpose: to reduce the know-do gap. Closing the know-do gap is a recent concern for the Western research community, as the worlds of research-based knowledge and action have traditionally been separated. This separation of knowledge and action comes from a different paradigm than Aboriginal knowledge traditions, where knowledge is often inherently practical. “Sharing what we know about living a good life” speaks to the fact that Aboriginal people have been doing and applying their own science for centuries: rich oral traditions, experiential knowledge, and cross-cultural sharing form the foundations of the KT tradition. This rich history of KT in Aboriginal communities provides a framework for researchers and policy-makers interested in Aboriginal health to learn from and integrate into their work. The combination of a rich history of KT in Aboriginal communities and growing interest in KT among the Western scientific research community provides a unique opportunity to develop partnerships to utilize and apply knowledge to improve Aboriginal health and well-being’ (p. 3).
Hanson, P. G. & Smylie, J. 2006, 'Knowledge translation for Indigenous communities: Policy making toolkit', Indigenous KT Summit Steering Committee, Regina.
‘The toolkit is intended to briefly review issues in KT, provide an overview of a possible process for policy making and suggest principles and elements to think about when drafting a KT policy at the community level’ (p. 2) with a focus on health and Indigenous communities in Canada.
Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre (IPHRC) 2005, Knowledge translation and Indigenous knowledge symposium and consultation sessions, Final Report, IHPRC, Regina.
This report begins with a literature review on knowledge translation and then provides a summary of discussions at a series of knowledge translation symposiums, held ‘to assess knowledge translation within Indigenous community contexts in Saskatchewan’ (p. 7). ‘From the dialogues emerges the need for new paradigms for health and the suggestion that knowledge translation and transfer may happen when Indigenous peoples have adequately developed their own knowledge base and other supporting systems in concert with the national health agenda’ (p. 23).
Kaplan-Myrth, N. & Smylie, J. (eds) 2006, Sharing what we know about living a good life, (Summit Report, Indigenous Knowledge Translation Summit, First Nations University of Canada, Regina, March 2006), Indigenous KT Summit Steering Committee, Regina.
‘In keeping with the stated objectives of the summit, the discussions centered around definitions of knowledge translation; desired outcomes of knowledge translation activities for Indigenous communities; best practice examples of knowledge translation by/for/with Indigenous communities; partnerships and processes for knowledge translation; and future directions for knowledge translation. Through Elders’ stories, keynote speeches, plenary panels, research presentations, facilitated workshops and a key stakeholder meeting, summit participants touched upon topics ranging from traditional Inuit midwifery practices, to urban community development and healing through a storyteller’s blanket, to health systems management’ (p. 7).
Salsberg, J., Louttit, S., McComber, A., Fiddler, R., Naqshbandi, M., Receveur, O., Harris, S. & Macaulay, A. 2007, 'Knowledge, capacity, and readiness: Translating successful experiences in community-based participatory research for health promotion', Pimatisiwin: A Journal of Aboriginal and Indigenous Community Health, vol.5, no. 2, pp. 125–50.
This paper explores the interrelationship between capacity building and the concepts of readiness and intercommunity knowledge translation. A five-year study examined two long-standing projects for the primary prevention of type 2 diabetes in Aboriginal communities, to translate the lessons learned from those experiences into capacity for diabetes prevention in a third Aboriginal community. Reviewing external factors with the PRECEDE-PROCEED model of health promotion reveals that readiness for change requires both intra- and extra-community enabling factors including expertise from other communities, national and international organizations, federal health service funding, available research and intervention funding, and availability of external partners. These resources do not address the community health issue directly, but rather build capacity, objective and environmental, for the community to address the issue itself.
Smylie, J., Martin, C.M., Kaplan-Myrth, N., Steele, L., Tait, C. & Hogg, W. 2003, 'Knowledge translation and indigenous knowledge', International Journal Circumpolar Health, vol. 63, supplement no. 2, pp. 139–43.
This paper aims ‘to develop an understanding of the fit between evolving knowledge translation models and evolving Indigenous knowledge theory as applied to health’ (p. 140). ‘With few exceptions, knowledge translation activities that link health research to practice in Aboriginal communities have been overlooked. When knowledge translation does occur, there appears to be little adaptation of mainstream approaches to the Aboriginal community context’ (p. 141).
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) 2012, Guide to knowledge translation planning at CIHR: Integrated and end-of-grant approaches, CIHR, Ottawa
This guide outlines those elements that contribute to strong KT projects. It is intended to be used both by those developing project proposals and by those who are assessing such proposals for the purposes of funding or partnership’ (p. 1). Definitions for CIHR’s two broad categories of KT (integrated KT and end-of-grant KT) are provided; along with key questions to address in proposal areas and examples of strong proposals.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) 2004, Innovation in action: Knowledge translation strategy 2004–2009, CIHR, Ottawa.
This strategy outlines CIHR’s framing of knowledge translation (KT) and the strategic directions that will promote KT through activities designed to support KT research, contribute to building KT networks, strengthen and expand KT at CIHR, and support and recognise KT excellence (p. 6).
Graham, I. D., Logan, J., Harrison, M. B., Straus, S. E., Tetroe, J., Caswell, W. & Robinson, N. 2006, 'Lost in knowledge translation: Time for a map?', Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 13–24.
There is confusion and misunderstanding about the concepts of knowledge translation, knowledge transfer, knowledge exchange, research utilization, implementation, diffusion, and dissemination. We review the terms and definitions used to describe the concept of moving knowledge into action. We also offer a conceptual framework for thinking about the process and integrate the roles of knowledge creation and knowledge application. The implications of knowledge translation for continuing education in the health professions include the need to base continuing education on the best available knowledge, the use of educational and other transfer strategies that are known to be effective, and the value of learning about planned action theories to be better able to understand and influence change in practice settings.
Grunfeld, E., Zitzelsberger, L., Evans, W., Cameron, R., Hayter, C., Berman, N. & Stern, H. 2004, 'Better knowledge translation for effective cancer control: A priority for action', Cancer Causes and Control, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 503–10.
Translation of research knowledge has focused on means traditionally part of the research process such as publication in journals. While knowledge may be disseminated via these methods, they appear to have little impact on implementation of new approaches in practice or policy. Research in the area of knowledge translation identifies important elements and strategies most effective in the translation of research findings. Adding a knowledge translation component to national cancer control programs can help ensure that even small efforts directed at cancer control can have maximum impact.
Harrington, A., Beverley, L., Barron, G., Pazderka, H., Bergerman, L. & Clelland, S. 2009, Knowledge translation: A synopsis of the literature 2008, Alberta Health Services – Alberta Mental Health Board, Edmonton.
This review paper offers a synthesis of knowledge translation definitions, models, barriers and enablers, activities, evaluation, literature and resources; along with key messages.
Institute of Health Economics (IHE) & Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Aboriginal People's Health (CIHR–IAPH) 2011, Aboriginal peoples' wellness in Canada: Scaling up the knowledge – Cultural context and community aspirations, Summary Report from March 3–4 Roundtable, Ottawa.
The purpose of the roundtable held on March 3rd and 4th in Ottawa was to discuss Aboriginal Knowledge Translation/Exchange in Canada. We hoped to highlight successful knowledge translation approaches in First Nation, Métis, and Inuit populations across Canada, and to begin discussing why these initiatives work and how we can continue such success in other communities. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health (IAPH) has recognized the importance of intervention research (the body of knowledge—what worked, what did not, and why) and knowledge translation (the transformation to different contexts and scaling up) as a means of achieving models of good practice that will benefit First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples throughout Canada to achieve wellness. [Abstract] 'The roundtable served as a platform for Dr. Malcolm King to present the model, and the concept of “Two-Eyed Seeing” became a powerful theme that resonated throughout the deliberations and dialogue (p. 3).
Jacobson, J., Butterill, D. & Goering, P. 2003, 'Development of a framework for knowledge translation: Understanding user context', Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 94–9.
This paper provides a framework that researchers and other knowledge disseminators who are embarking on knowledge translation can use to increase their familiarity with the intended user groups. The framework consists of five domains: the user group, the issue, the research, the knowledge translation relationship, and dissemination strategies. Within each domain, the framework includes a series of questions. The questions provide the researcher with a way of organizing what he or she already knows about the user group and the knowledge translation project, of identifying what still is unknown, and of flagging what is important to learn.
Lavis, J. N., Robertson, D., Woodside, J. M., McLeod, C. B. & Abelson, J. 2003, 'How can research organizations more effectively transfer research knowledge to decision makers?', Milbank Quarterly, vol. 81, no. 2, pp. 221–48.
This paper provides ‘an organising framework for a knowledge-transfer strategy and an overview of…current knowledge for each of the five elements of the framework. The framework provides an overall approach to knowledge transfer that can be evaluated as a whole over long periods of time, as well as specific elements that can be evaluated and fine-tuned over shorter periods of time’ (p. 221).
Lomas, J. 1997, Improving research dissemination and uptake in the health sector: Beyond the sound of one hand clapping, McMaster University Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, Policy Commentary paper C97–1.
Lomas offers new ways to improve research dissemination and uptake of health research, which mainly focus on bridging the communication gap between researchers and decision makers, who work independently and do not understand each other’s needs. ‘Researchers get caught in a “one-size-fits-all’ process of dissemination, failing to tailor the content, timing, setting and format of dissemination to the audience. Research funders communicate a single set of research priorities, failing to recognise that each audience may have separate priorities’ (p. 3). Lomas provides a framework for understanding the context and factors influencing the decision-making process.
Mitton, C., Adair, C., Mckenzie, E., Patten, S. & Perry, B. W. 2007, 'Knowledge transfer and exchange: Review and synthesis of the literature', Milbank Quarterly, vol. 85, no. 4, pp. 729–68.
This review and synthesis of knowledge transfer and exchange literature on health care policy found that ‘despite the rhetoric and growing perception in health services research circles of the “value” of KTE, there is actually very little evidence that can adequately inform what KTE strategies work in what contexts’ (p. 756).
National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR) 2005, 'What is knowledge translation?', FOCUS: Technical Brief, no. 10, NCDDR, Austin
This issue of FOCUS discusses knowledge translation, a relatively new term that is used to describe a relatively old problem-the underutilization of evidence-based research in systems of care. This article describes relevant KT concepts, KT planning models, and suggests a working definition for KT that is designed to reflect NIDRR's [National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research] research and development priorities.
Pablos-Mendez, A. & Shademani, R. 2006, 'Knowledge translation in global health', Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 81–6.
We discuss the ‘know-do gap,’ present a definition of knowledge translation, and discuss its relative importance in bridging the know-do gap. Some of the underlying causes of the know-do gap are listed, along with ongoing efforts to address them. Knowledge translation is considered a cross-cutting, nonlinear process that involves not only recent research findings but also knowledge that is created from the dynamic interaction of people who come together to solve public health problems, to learn, and ultimately to drive productive change. We also mention some of the activities undertaken by the World Health Organization in regards to knowledge translation.
Sudsawad, P. 2007, Knowledge translation: Introduction to models, strategies and measures, The National Centre for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR), Austin.
‘This paper begins by presenting the definitions of knowledge translation and discussing several models that, together, can be used to delineate components and understand mechanisms necessary for successful knowledge translation. Then the knowledge translation strategies and their effectiveness are explored based on the literature drawn from other health-care fields in addition to rehabilitation. Finally, several methods and approaches to measure the use of research knowledge in various dimensions are presented’ (p. 1).
Tetroe, J. 2007, 'Knowledge translation at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research: A primer', FOCUS: Technical Brief, no. 18, National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR), Austin.
This paper details the meaning, application and impact of knowledge translation, as prescribed by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). It also describes the knowledge-to-action process and model as developed by Graham, et al. (2006).
Ward, V., Smith, S., Foy, R., House, A. & Hamer, S. 2010, 'Planning for knowledge translation: A researcher’s guide', Evidence & Policy, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 527–41.
Researchers are being strongly encouraged to incorporate knowledge translation strategies into their research applications, but there is relatively little clear guidance for them about precisely what this means or how they can achieve it…This paper sets out a proposed guide, which could help to fill this gap. The guide is based on a coherent and empirically based conceptualisation of the knowledge translation process. It encourages researchers to embed knowledge translation early in their research planning process rather than adding it on later. Because the framework sets out a number of considerations rather than ‘rules’, it affords researchers the flexibility, autonomy and creativity to produce a personally useful, coherent and workable knowledge translation strategy.