Environment Canada and York University – Converging Worlds of KMb

Following a successful and enjoyable visit to Environment Canada’s Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington, ON, it was York’s KMb Unit who played host to Environment Canada staff on Monday, July 26.

Four members of Environment Canada’s Science & Technology Liaison team visited York:
Sheila Allan – A/Senior Science Policy Analyst, Environment Canada
Kristin May – Science and Technology Liaison Officer, Environment Canada
Courtney Price – Science and Technology Liaison Officer, Environment Canada
Scott Unger – Science and Technology Liaison Officer, Environment Canada

The morning consisted of an introduction and orientation to York’s technical collaboration and social media site within the O3 network. KMb Officer, Andrei Sedoff, provided a comprehensive overview of the KMb units’ space on O3 which includes profile pages for members, document sharing capability, wikis, calendars, blogs and much more. The team was highly impressed by Andrei’s easygoing but professional style and had these enthusiastic remarks:

“Andrei did a fantastic job explaining this powerful collaboration tool. This ‘Facebook for researchers’ is definitely something we can relate to.”

“The O3 demonstration offered exciting insight into how Ontario’s research community could collaborate and improve communication. At a time when such focus is put on web 2.0 techniques, it is good to know that an applicable and relevant tool is out there.”

“O3 is obviously a very powerful tool for helping create links between scientists and science users and we look forward to working with York’s KMb Unit in the future and seeing more of what O3 has to offer.”

The chance to preview and explore York’s collaborative technology space also made EC’s team very optimistic about the possibility of using O3 to share information and stimulate dialogue surrounding the Special Workshop on Knowledge Translation and Brokering.” EC is organizing the event under the auspices of the Canadian Science Policy Conference and in partnership with ResearchImpact, the Canadian Water Network and other collaborators.

Matthew Shulman

Our federal friends also participated in the afternoon’s clear language writing and design workshop, which was the seventh such workshop which York’s KMb Unit has offered over the years. Given EC’s prominent role in communicating scientific research findings to a broad policy audience, and efforts to help link research into practice, the workshop was informative and relevant.

“The most interesting thing about the clear language and design workshop was the emphasis on design. We give a lot of thought as to who our audience is when we write. The presenter demonstrated how structure of the text and overall layout are just as important in increasing the likelihood your message will be understood.”

All in all, the day reflected the emerging relationship between our two respective offices. Informative, enjoyable and mutually rewarding are descriptors that come to mind. After all, in the ever-growing world of KMb we’re both learning it is important to have peers from which to learn and share experiences.

This blog was co-authored by ResearchImpact, York KMb and Environment Canada’s S&T Liaison Team.

York’s KMb Interns….then and now

Picture this…York University, 2007. First summer of our SSHRC Knowledge Impact in Society grant and we run a KMb internship competition. We had 6 to hand out but the incredible demand made us find funding for an additional 6 allowing us to fund 12 interns.

Tammy Lowe (she was Tammy Miller back then) was one of the 12. Tammy Miller was an MA (Communications and Culture) student of Barbara Crow. Tammy’s KMb Internship was to undertake needs assessments and to understand and inform a communications strategy for Free The Children. Based on her MA class and thesis work Tammy undertook the research that informed a newly designed website.

That was then. This is now. Tammy Miller is now Tammy Lowe and she has recently been hired by the United Way of York Region as Campaign Manager. Her work with Free The Children and subsequent work with Blue Door Shelters (Youth Shelter, Newmarket), plus volunteer work with York’s KMb Unit, made her a perfect hire for UWYR.

Following in Tammy’s intern footprints are three new KMb interns. The UWYR-YorkU KMb Interns are a joint venture between two long standing friends and institutional partners. York University’s Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation (VPRI) and the United Way of York Region (UWYR) share a vision for a healthy and sustainable York Region. This vision supports public services delivered to York Region residents informed by evidence derived from research (very KMb!).

The UWYR Interns are working with the UWYR Community Engagement and Research Committee to facilitate research that addresses UWYR strategic directions and priorities. Findings of the research will help inform the planning and delivery of UWYR Strength Investments within communities of rapid growth. UWYR Priorities:
• helping youth grow up strong
• enabling individuals and families to achieve economic independence
• improving the well being of individuals and communities

The interns will:

1. Undertake a literature review focusing on the impact of growth and change on human services and various responses to address the impact.

2. Conduct social asset mapping in identified geographies of growth in York Region.

3. Identify, refine and pilot potential neighbourhood assessment tools for future consultation and engagement activities with residents, community groups, service providers and  other key stakeholders.

Welcome to the following UWYR-YorkU KMb interns:

Jessica Carriere is a grad student of Gerda Wekerle (FES). Her research interests pertain to the social aspects of city planning within major Canadian cities. Upon obtaining a Master of Science in Planning, she hopes to work in social planning and development at the municipal level – assisting in the creation of new policy-led strategies aimed at strengthening public involvement in decision making processes, and encouraging investment in social infrastructure.

Nausheen Quayyum is completing an M.A. in Development Studies at York University under the supervision of Ananya Mukherjee-Reed and Eduardo Canel. She has worked in the capacity of a Research Intern with various non-profit organizations including Research Initiatives Bangladesh (Dhaka), Human Rights Watch (Toronto) as well as with the Health and Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto (Toronto).

Silvia D’Addario worked under the supervision of Valerie Preston as a graduate researcher on the York Region Infrastructure Project. This project assessed the supply and demand of social infrastructure for three vulnerable populations- recent immigrants, low-income residents and seniors. Her doctoral studies explore the gendering and racializing intersections of work and residence for immigrants in suburban Toronto.

Collaborating on the KMb Intern experience is just one more way the UWYR and York U are working together to ensure that York U’s research is accessible to benefit the social and economic well being of York Region residents. As Daniele Zanotti, CEO of UWYR says, “For the United Way of York Region, knowledge mobilization is priceless.”

Identify, refine and pilot potential neighbourhood assessment tools for future consultation and engagement activities with residents, community groups, service providers and other key stakeholders

York responds to the knowledge mobilization evaluation

Like most service units York’s Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit counts lots of stuff. We count every presentation we make according to the audience, we count numbers of requests for service, we count students, web hits, tweets, students engaged with non-academic research stakeholders and, of course, we count money.

What has this shown? We’ve brokered over 155 collaborations between researchers and non-academic research stakeholders. We’ve worked with over 200 York faculty. We’ve had over 2M web hits on our web site. We have helped faculty raise over $15M in funding for engaged research, we have placed 29 graduate student KMb Interns with partners (4 of whom were subsequently hired by their internship partner organization) and we have attracted over $700K for funding from KMb partners. But the question remains:

So What?

We have been busy but what impact has this activity had on faculty, students and partners? Most of what we count are inputs into a system of institutional KMb support. What are the outputs, outcomes or impacts? We wish to better articulate the downstream impacts of our efforts so in May 2009 we began a formal evaluation of the first 2.5 years of KMb. York’s KMb Unit contracted the Program Evaluation Unit of the York Institute for Health Research to develop and undertake an evaluation of the KMb Units at York, at UVic and at their collaboration called ResearchImpact. Under the supervision of Michaela Hynie, Director of the Program Evaluation Unit, the evaluation ran from June – September 2009 and a final report which will be released at Congress 2010 was tabled in November 2009.

On February 19, 2010 the report was reviewed by a committee of stakeholders representing local and national perspectives on KMb. Chaired by Stan Shapson (Vice-President Research & Innovation, York University), two York faculty met with external stakeholders (see below for Committee membership) and were asked three questions:

1. How should we continue to develop institutional support services at York University?
2. How should we develop ResearchImpact (Canada’s national knowledge mobilization network)?
3. How can we apply the principles of KMb to industry liaison?

The review committee was positive about York’s institutional KMb capacity and recognized that KMb has certainly created benefits for York, for researchers, for graduate students, for research partners. However, they also provided helpful critical suggestions for the future. The reviewers felt the evaluation fell short of identifying the social, economic, cultural or environmental impacts of research. One reviewer commented that the report did not capture the intangible benefits of KMb at the community level. In a presentation on measuring the outcomes and benefits of university research at the Canadian Association of University Research Administrators (May 9-12, 2010 ) David Phipps recognized that York invested a lot of time to get to a point where we were less than satisfied with our ability to demonstrate the impact of KMb. This is not a criticism of the evaluation report or of the methodology but an observation about the state of evaluation of the non-academic impacts of research, especially in the social sciences and humanities. We also recognize that 2.5 years is insufficient time for many impacts to be realized. Outputs (such as graduate student interns trained) and outcomes (such as graduate students hired by their intern host organizations) were identified but impacts and a social return on investment were generally lacking.

Nonetheless we are pleased that the evaluation reported many successes and achievements and the Committee left the KMb Unit with a number of areas on which we can focus for continued growth. Since the Evaluation Committee meeting on February 19, 2010, Stan Shapson has met three times with David Dewitt (Associate VP Research, Social Sciences & Humanities), David Phipps (Director, Research Services & Knowledge Exchange) and Michael Johnny (Manager, Knowledge Mobilization) to consider the outcomes of the evaluation report and the Committee’s input to inform decisions about future KMb developments at York and ResearchImpact. See the table below for recommendations and action items arising from York’s response to the review committee’s comments on the evaluation report. See also the following documents for more information on York’s evaluation of the KMb Unit and ResearchImpact.

• ResearchSnapshot summary of evaluation report Hynie Evaluation of KMb ResearchSnapshot
• Presentation made by Michael Hynie to Evaluation Committee Evaluation Report Feb 19, 2010
• Final Evaluation report KMb Evaluation Final Report

If you have any feedback please comment on this article using the Leave a Comment feature above.

We wish to thank Michaela Hynie and her team for undertaking the evaluation. We also wish to thank the members of the Evaluation Review Committee:

Lisa Drouillard, Director NSERC Liaison,
Science and Innovation Sector, Industry Canada

Pierre-Gerlier Forest, President
Trudeau Foundation

Janet Halliwell
Former Executive VP, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Bill Hogarth
Former Director, York Region District School Board

Valerie Preston
Professor, Department of Geography, York University
Director, Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS)

Stephen Gaetz,
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education
Director, Canadian Homelessness Research Network

Recommendation Action Items Next Steps
1. Capacity Building Include KMb tools in KM in AM schedule
  • Develop KMb tool kit (already developing tools for brokers and P2P
  • Alternate meet and greet with KMb tools
KM in PM
  • Themes will emerge from KM in AM
  • Currently exploring youth engagement
KM in AM
  • Diabetes, aging workforce May 2010
Roll out KMb Tool Kit
  • Clear language research summary completed in draft
  • Schedule of new tools developed for release
  • Roll out: P2P, national knowledge brokers teleconference, KM in AM
2. Faculty Engagement Link to White Paper
  • MJ and PR developing document
Articulate Value Proposition for faculty
  • Identify faculty already working in York Region (completed)
  • Highlight faculty working in York Region on blog and in newsletters
Governance
  • Focus with faculty working in York Region – what can they contribute to a governance structure
  • Launch new Joint Advisory Committee
3. Student Engagement 2010 Interns (UWYR-York)
  • One page vision including budget (completed)
  • SS speak with DZ (completed)
  • Materials for competition prepared (completed)
4. Strategic vs Portfolio Approach to knowledge brokering

  • Consensus for a blended approach
UW Priorities

  • helping our youth grow up strong
  • enabling individuals and families to achieve economic independence
  • improving the wellbeing of individuals and community

York Capacity

  • Possible York capacity
  • Mental health
  • Immigration & settlement
  • Poverty & Homelessness
  • Climate Change
  • Confirm York capacity
  • Map unique York capacity onto UW goals
  • Determine where there is “bench strength” and capacity to work in public policy
  • Meeting with York Region to explore YR priorities
  • Thematic meetings to explore collaborations; 1) reactivate poverty working group; 2) explore CERIS to lead immigration; 3) successful SSHRC Public Outreach grant for climate change; 4) mental health
  • Need to identify funding opportunities
5. Convergence Centre Move Community Collaboration Stations to CC
  • Open convergence centre Fall 2010
Hold events at CC
  • Every other KM in AM
  • KMb Expo 2011
KMb Unit presence at CC
  • MJ spend 1 day/week at CC
Community Awareness
  • Identify key community partners and develop communication strategy for dissemination to encourage use of CC for community uses
6. Evaluation & Impacts Evaluation Report: what are the most important/critical findings

  • Evaluation didn’t capture some of the impacts experienced in York Region
  • Develop clear language research summary
  • MJ and DP review report and presentation
  • Provide points to VPRI/Community for comments
Continue to track all activities
Case Study Method

  • possibly with UWYR as case study partner
  • identify faculty with case study experience
  • discuss with Janet Halliwell
Break through evidence based evaluation

  • Contact Janet Halliwell for guidance on methods
  • Review materials from SSHRC Evaluation meeting at Congress 2010
  • Big thinking: CIFAR, John Halliwell (UBC), others?
7. ResearchImpact Functions:

  • Community of Practice
  • Source of research for receptors

Role for Industry Liaison?

  • United Way-University meeting April 2010 (MUN, UQAM, Guelph, USask, UVic)
  • Others?
  • Explore opportunities for funding

Teen Pregnancy and Teen Mothers: Meeting the Needs in York Region

In the summer of 2009, as part of the initial grant for York’s KMb pilot project and as part of a competitive, adjudicated process, the KMb Unit created Social Innovation Collaboration Grants to address research issues with relevant public policy and/or professional practice implications in the areas of Mental Health, as this was an identified priority area by community partners. Here is a summary of one of these projects:

Drs. Jennifer Connolly, Hala Tamim and Yvonne Bohr, affiliated with the LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution (York) partnered with Kinark Child and Family Services and York Region Children’s Aid Society for a short-term knowledge mobilization project around new mothers in York Region; examining the prevalence of these vulnerable girls in York Region, how their Mental Health needs are being met, what service gaps could be identified and determining how research on risk and resilience can inform clinical care and maximize positive outcomes.

The research team employed graduate students to support their efforts and focused on the following activity:

• Determine the prevalence of pregnant and mothering teens in York Region
• Survey on available services to pregnant and mothering teens
• Review of girls receiving protective service intervention from York Region CAS within this user population
• Synthesize published literature on risks and resiliencies of pregnant and mothering teens
• Begin framing research to explore factors related to risk and resiliency for these young women and their children
• Initiate community-based opportunities for feedback and knowledge exchange with interested members of the community

The team is excited about what they were able to accomplish and they are continuing to work in collaboration through a successful CIHR KT Supplement grant, which will build on their collaborative capacity by using social media and technology-based research collaboration tools, including the O3 platform, to further their research and KMb agendas. The partnership development between the three agencies, as well as a large cohort of youth was also a very positive outcome which the team has identified, supporting the sustainability of their efforts.

Hear Jennifer Connolly (York), Sandra Cunning (Kinark Child and Family Services) and Bonita Majonis (York Region Children’s Aid Society) talk about the project at the 2010 KMb Expo:

United Way? United Wow!

On April 26 and 27 the United Way of York Region (UWYR) and York University hosted their counterparts from St. John’s, Montreal (UQAM), Guelph, Saskatoon and Victoria. This represented the first time the ResearchImpact universities met and was an ideal opportunity to invite our UW partners. Some of us (York, Victoria, Guelph) have established strong relationships between the university and the UW and the rest were meeting for the first time to explore possibilities. The goals of the meeting were two fold:

  1. Mobilize best practices and lessons learned about KMb from YorkU and UWYR to universities and communities across Canada
  2. Seed a national KMb network informed by evidence and best practice.

“I feel connected to a real network in spirit not just on paper”

The full agenda is available  here- UW-University KMb Meeting Agenda

Introductions: We prepared our recipe cards for success (for a successful meeting I need a pinch of _____________, a dash of _______________ and whole heaping handful of ________________) and shared them around the table. Humour was the ingredient most frequently cited… that we had, in abundance. Thanks to Jennifer Adams Warburton for setting the right tone for the meeting. In Newfoundland & Labrador they just “get ‘er done!”. And that we did!

KMb 101: The use of faculty and community partners in videos during York’s KMb overview grounded the KMb theory in the reality of community practice.

Presentations from Victoria and Guelph: These universities and their UW partners shared their experiences including UW Greater Victoria providing funding for UVic KMb interns and Guelph presenting on their new Research Shop.

Lunch: York’s KMb staff joined for lunch, presented on their KMb projects and we discussed staffing, resourcing and structures of the office.

Unconference Time: The group identified two topics of mutual interest and divided to discuss and report back. The Unconference topics were: 1) evaluation (we actually have very little understanding how to evaluate a system of KMb) and 2) local vs. national projects (a national network needs standards and tools to support local knowledge mobilization and we need a national network to enhance the access to scholarship anywhere across the country and to serve as a community of practice).

ResearchImpact: David Phipps (ResearchImpact York) presented a vision for ResearchImpact focusing on two activities: a community of practice and a larger pool of research and expertise to bring to the benefit of the ResearchImpact community partners. Louise Powell-McCarthy (UW Canada) provided reflections from a national perspective including her role as Director of Knowledge Exchange and her work to ensure all local UW share best practices through their Standards of Excellence.

Dinner: Lago. Good food. Great company. One theme emerged and remained with us – squirrel (you had to be there).

“We are so focused on the day to day but now we appreciate what the end looks like and what this can mean for policy change.”

The next day started with Saskatoon summing up what they heard from Day 1 and putting it in their perspective exploring learnings and opportunities for their community.

O3 demo: this was important as the entire meeting was managed through the ResearchImpact O3 site. A UW-University group was created with access to blogs, forums, gallery, documents and wikis, all of which were used to develop the community, provide materials in advance and set the tone for the meeting. The blog channel for this community is now open so check out the blog postings here.

Yaffle demo: We have previously blogged about yaffle, MUN’s online knowledge brokering service. Jennifer Adams Warburton presented on the launch and university (even province) wide implementation of this tool and described some of the success stories arising from yaffle. We briefly discussed its potential to link decision makers and researchers across the country – no promises but some great thinking.

For lunch that day we were joined by York’s VP Research & Innovation, Stan Shapson, and Assoc. VP Research (Social Sciences & Humanities), David Dewitt. We explored the impacts the meeting had on participants and made commitments to action in the following year. We then, one by one, said good bye, à bien tôt.

“very inspiring, happy to have been able to see how KMb is implemented in different communities”

The evaluations were overwhelmingly positive:

What did you like most about the meeting?
• Seeing how KMb is managed in the different universities and communities
• Meeting great people
• The sharing
• Establishing connections within a network
• Les experiences de chacune des universities et de Centraide et les outils développés.

What did you like least?
• Too many carbs, no decaf, need better snacks
• Le peu d’espace accordé à la traduction en français

Did you find the information about universities & ResearchImpact useful?
• We received a score 31 out of possible 36 points (36 = extremely useful)

Did you find the information about United Ways useful?
• We received a score 31 out of possible 36 points (36 = extremely useful)

After this event would you characterize the potential for United Way-University collaboration?
• We received a score 30 out of possible 36 points (36 = excellent potential)

What was the experience using the O3 social media site?
• We received a score 20 out of possible 36 points (36=excellent)

Are you interested in continuing this dialogue? 11/12 reported yes with one person saying yes so long as the openness continued.

While we have some way to go in supporting the use of O3 and serving fruit would have been nice, we received very positive feedback and have a mandate to move forward with plans for a national ResearchImpact network.

“I can see the power of the United Way national network and the academic network blended together.”

In summary: Watch the ResearchImpact YouTube channel, where we shall shortly be posting a video produced from the event. It was clear from all of the sharing and mutual learning, that collaboration between community and university, enabled by an institutional capacity for knowledge mobilization can maximize the impact of research on social service and community agencies and thus on the lives of Canadians. To cite York’s tag line, the meeting really did “redefine the possible”.

“Potential: need to think about what this [network] could be and connect”

Four common themes emerged from the meeting:

  1. In our diverse experiences community is stepping up to the KMb, plate but faculty, not so much. This culture change for faculty and for our academic institutions recapitulates the early years of technology transfer and industry liaison. Only the consistent application of professional services and an institutional capacity to support university-industry collaborations and time changed the collaboration culture in academic science & technology research. There’s a lesson here for knowledge mobilization.
  2. KMb is not a cookie cutter approach. While broad principles (involve decision makers in all stages; use a variety of KMb methods including push, pull, exchange and co-production; provide training and tools) should be adopted those must be implemented in a way that takes into account local opportunities and constraints. For example, KMb at York and UVic will achieve the same goals but be implemented differently.
  3. One word summed up the meeting: POTENTIAL
  4. And again… squirrel… because you had to be there.

Next Steps: While the next steps in the growth of ResearchImpact will depend on the outcomes of the careful reflection and deliberation of participants upon returning home, the one thing we are all committed to is continued dialogue in an open and transparent fashion.

“The United Way and Universities are two different cultures but by collaborating, change will happen and we can balance Canada’s innovation agenda.”

Thank you to CIHR which funded this meeting through a CIHR KT grant to York University and the United Way of York Region.

GET (Green Economy Transition) Ahead

As reported by the Bradford West Gwillimbury Times, on March 26, 2010 at the lovely Club at Bond Head (which didn’t look this good in March).

South Simcoe launched their Green Economy Transition Centre. The South Simcoe Green Economy Transition Centre will be a centre of excellence for local businesses and a model for communities throughout Canada. A partnership representing all levels of government, businesses and universities, led by York University, the Centre will provide up-to-date research and resources to companies, residents, non-profits and the public sector within South Simcoe. Businesses will be helped to reduce costs and become more competitive in an increasingly global market. Leaner and greener, companies capitalizing on the Centre’s resources will be more efficient and, therefore, more profitable, while reducing their environmental footprint.

Nottawasaga Futures was last seen in this blog post on January 7, when ResearchImpact York and Nottawasaga announced their collaboration on this exciting green initiative. On March 26, ResearchImpact York’s David Phipps and Michael Johnny were accompanied by FES Students Michael Weaver (who was accompanied by his supervisor Mark Winfield) and Susan Swail who talked about their research with South Simcoe partners and presented posters at the ResearchImpact booth.

York will support the Green Economy Transition Centre by linking local business and municipalities to research and expertise to help green decisions. Working through the MITACS Accelerate program (which supports Susan Swail), graduate student interns will have the opportunity to work with businesses who are seeking ways to go green. York has over 130 researchers working in diverse aspects of climate change. Multiply that by the five other ResearchImpact universities and South Simcoe will have potentially over 700 university researchers available to provide research to South Simcoe.

York was happy to share the podium with South Simcoe municipal and provincial politicians, local businesses and Hartford Murdoch. We heard from the decision makers of today and then we heard from Hartford, a future decision maker. As past president of YNOT (Youth Nottawasaga), he represented the youth voice in South Simcoe and made a passionate case for investing in the environment in which he will be living tomorrow. Hartford has already starting to make good decisions. He starts his undergrad at York in September.

This is an excellent opportunity for academic researchers and graduate students to put their research to use. This is an excellent opportunity for York to partner with one of its local communities. This is an excellent opportunity for South Simcoe to GET ahead of the curve in green business.

Oh and Hart, drop by and visit the KMb Unit when you arrive on campus in September.

UVic Summer Interns 2009

The interns for UVic’s KM/CBR Sumer Internship program have been selected! Through the ResearchImpact initiative, the UVic Office of Community Based Research is sponsoring ten graduate students to work hands on with a local Community Organizations on a piece of research relating to social policy. The UVic KM Coordinator received 27 outstanding proposals, and an evaluation panel comprised of both academic and community voices narrowed it down to ten projects. The project partners include AIDS Vancouver Island, Our Place Society, Blood Ties Four Directions Center, the Sto:lo Resource Management and Resource Center, to name a few. The students are currently working on their Human Research Ethics proposals, and then the real work begins! The UVic Office of Community Based Research and Knowledge Mobilization Unit are thrilled to be able to provide this opportunity for deserving graduate students to respond to research needs in their community.

ResearchImpact Funds Homelessness Research and Knowledge Mobilization

“At this time, there is a dearth of information on the effectiveness of our responses to homelessness and our service models, including housing programs. That is, there is very little evaluation research of programs in Canada…In an era of increasing solutions to homelessness, it is increasingly important to know what works, why it works and for whom it works.”

Stephen Gaetz

Stephen Gaetz

ResearchImpact has a mandate to link researchers and decision makers in Victoria and Toronto but such collaborations need to be seeded in order to develop into full partnerships. ResearchImpact is investing in collaborative research and KM projects that address social challenges that are common to the two cities. Through a competitive process York has made a $30,000 grant to a project lead by Stephen Gaetz (York University), Bernie Pauly (University of Victoria) and their community partners Rachel Gray (Eva’s Initiatives), Kathy Stinson (Victoria Cool Aid Society) and Jill Clements, (Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness). Stephen and Bernie are joined by colleagues at York (Uzo Anucha, Stephanie Baker Collins, Michaela Hynie and Daphne Winland) and at UVic (Jutta Gutberlet, Aleck Ostry, Margo Matwychuk and Darlene Clover).

Their project, Ending Homelessness: “What works and for whom?” will establish a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of programs that address ending homelessness and it has three components:

• Based on a review of the literature and expert consultation, develop indicators for assessing programs and practices aimed at ending homelessness;

sub-profiles-body-hs-pbernadette2

Bernie Pauly

• Develop and test an evaluation framework for assessing the effectiveness of programs for ending homelessness

• Using plain language summaries, technology to enhance access to the project and dissemination using the Homeless Hub the project will mobilize knowledge related to best practices in ending homelessness and guidelines for program evaluation in order to enhance community capacity and to allow other communities to use the evaluation methodologies developed.

The project will run jointly in both cities and results made available during Fall 2009. Good luck to the team. Stay tuned to Mobilize This! for more information on this and other investments ResearchImpact is making for social innovation.

RE$EARCH MONEY publishes on Knowledge Mobilization

RE$EARCH MONEY recently published an article by David Phipps. The article provides a brief theoretical framework for KM and illustrates KM activities with examples of how KM can create value for faculty, graduate students and research users. The article makes a distinction between project based KM and institutional KM services such as those supported by York and UVic. In addition the article ends with a call to action.

“To sustain [KM] activities, research funding organizations need to invest in KM through institutional programs such as Intellectual Property Mobilization (IPM) and Knowledge Impact in Society (KIS). Foundations need to look to social innovation as a target area for support and institutions need to invest in institutional KM practices as they currently do for technology transfer.” Read the full article here….

RE$EARCH MONEY is Canada’s premier source of intelligence on research and development, science and technology and innovation. See www.researchmoneyinc.com for more information.

ResearchImpact invited to consult on KM strategies

On October 23rd, 2008, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s (CPAC) Knowledge Management Division hosted a one-day forum with experts from across Canada in knowledge management, information management and analytics, and technology and eHealth innovation to obtain advice on: a vision for knowledge management in cancer control; novel and creative approaches to advancing and sustaining knowledge management in the Canadian cancer control community; the essential elements of a focused and innovative, multi-year knowledge management strategy for CPAC; critical success factors for the impact and sustainability of CPAC’s knowledge management strategy. David Phipps (ResearchImpact, York University) was invited to participate in the discussions and provide input into developing a KM strategy for CPAC.

The one day session featured more discussion than presentation and CPAC did more listening than talking. An aside… as a note to all those planning a consultation – this opportunity for 2 way exchange is far more important than creating an opportunity for one way transfer (good KM strategy). Experts in a variety of cancer strategies and KM practices from Canada and the US were present and it is safe to say the invited attendees got as much out of the session as did CPAC. Some of the take home messages included using technology as a tool, keeping people at the centre of KM, understanding your audiences (their needs and wants) and having a robust evaluation strategy. As usual we raised more questions than answers as many of us are struggling with similar issues.

ResearchImpact was pleased to be invited to participate and we look forward to future opportunities to share our experiences.

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) is an independent organization funded by the federal government to accelerate action on cancer control for all Canadians. CPAC’s mission is to bring together cancer experts, charitable organizations, governments, patients and survivors to bring change to the cancer control domain. CPAC works together with its partners to stimulate generation of new knowledge and accelerate the implementation of existing knowledge about cancer control across Canada. Visit them at www.partnershipagainstcancer.ca.