Knowledge exchange is a two-way process between researchers and the users of research, in which research is used to change what is done (policy and planning) or how things are done (practice and systems).
Knowledge exchange is one of a range of terms that align with the construct of knowledge translation, a relatively new but widely adapted term coined by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Two-way knowledge sharing is needed between researchers and research users in order to change services and to sustain those changes.
Other terms with similar meanings include research transfer, research uptake, knowledge utilisation, knowledge dissemination, knowledge transfer, knowledge translation, translational research, diffusion and implementation.
How we do it
Knowledge exchange in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research needs time, expertise and resources, and researchers are not usually trained in the skills required.
Rather than just a simple one-way process in which researchers produce findings that users take up, knowledge exchange describes the complex series of interactions in the more nuanced reality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research. Through this dynamic we can achieve much better outcomes, both in terms of individual capacity development and lasting improvements in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Lowitja Institute staff, especially our Knowledge Translation Manager, are responsible for helping researchers with knowledge exchange planning, activities and publications.
What we do
Our knowledge exchange activities are an integral component of the Lowitja Institute’s research methodology, known as the Facilitated Development Approach. To support this we have a skilled and resourced staff to help with knowledge exchange planning, activities and publications.
The Knowledge Translation Manager, and the research and communications teams work together in an established communication infrastructure to facilitate a variety of mediums for communication research outcomes. These include:
Ongoing, up-to-date information
- The Lowitja Institute website
- e-bulletins (every fortnight)
- Twitter feed (@LowitjaInstitut)
- Media releases
Knowledge into practice
- Policy briefs (State and Federal Governments)
- Reports (research findings and community reports)
- Journal articles (support with writing)
- Annual reports
- Publications such as books, flip charts, discussion papers
- Production of tools and resources for use in health promotion
- DVD production