Knowledge translation processes: bridges between research and policy making

A summary of

Lavis, J. (2006). Research, public policymaking, and knowledge-translation processes: Canadian efforts to build bridges. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 26(1), doi: 10.1002/chp.49

How to cite this NCCMT summary:

National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (2013). Knowledge translation processes: bridges between research and policy making. Hamilton, ON: McMaster University. (Updated 12 April, 2013) Retrieved from http://www.nccmt.ca/resources/search/173.

Categories: Method, Knowledge exchange, Organizational capacity and management, Policy development

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.

Relevance for Public Health
Practical examples are outlined for how knowledge translation has been used to bridge research and public policy, including health policy, in a Canadian context.
Description

Five different types of knowledge translation processes are identified as being essential for evidence-informed policy making, bridging the gap between research and policy. Evidence-informed policy making is best achieved when both research and the policy making process are purposefully linked. Knowledge translation activities can act as a bridge between the two sectors. The article, Research, Public Policymaking, and Knowledge-Translation Processes: Canadian Efforts to Build Bridges, outlines five knowledge translation processes.

These five knowledge translation processes are part of a larger framework linking research to policy making at the national level (Lavis et al., 2006). Within this larger framework, efforts to link research to action include:

  • assessing if the general environment is supportive of using research in policy making
  • determining if user needs are identified through priority setting in producing research
  • using knowledge translation processes linking research to policy making (this article)
  • supporting and funding rigorous evaluation of efforts to link research to action

Key practice implications include the following:

  • Knowledge translation processes need to be timely and rigorously evaluated.
  • These processes need to done on a sufficiently large scale with strong evaluations to increase evidence on the effectiveness of knowledge translation activities.

Implementing the Method/Tool
Steps for Using Method/Tool

Five types of KT activities have been identified to bridge research and public policy making:

  • Production activities—methods that involve integration of policy making during research production. For an example, see Partnerships for policymaking.
  • Push—methods often used by researchers to direct their information and efforts toward those involved in public policy making.
  • Facilitating user pull—methods that enhance the accessability of research, as well as those that assist public policy-makers in identifying high quality, high relevance research. To facilitate the use of research in decision making, see questions listed in Understanding user context in knowledge translation.
  • User pull—methods to enhance public policy organizations' capacity to acquire, assess, adapt and apply research evidence (e.g., CHSRF self assessment tool).
  • Exchange—methods to establish and sustain partnerships and two-way communication between researchers and policy-makers.
Who is involved
Knowledge translation activities could be undertaken with public health managers, directors, decision-makers or anyone involved in informing policy decisions.
Conditions for Use
Not specified
Evaluation and Measurement Characteristics
Evaluation
Information not available
Validity
Not applicable
Reliability
Not applicable
Methodological Rating
Not applicable
Method/Tool Development
Developer(s)

John N. Lavis, MD, PhD
Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Transfer and Exchange
Professor, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Associate Member, Department of Polictical Science
Director, McMaster Health Forum
Director, Program in Policy Decision-Making
Associate Director, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA)

McMaster University

Method of Development
Information not available
Release Date
2006
Contact Person/Source

John N. Lavis, MD, PhD
Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Transfer and Exchange
Professor, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Associate Member, Department of Polictical Science
Director, McMaster Health Forum
Director, Program in Policy Decision-Making
Associate Director, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA)

McMaster University
1280 Main Street West, CRL-209
Hamilton, ON L8S 4K9
Canada

Phone: 905.525.9140 x 22521
Fax: 905.529.5742
Email: lavisj@mcmaster.ca

Resources

Title of Primary Resource
Research, public policymaking, and knowledge-translation processes: Canadian efforts to build bridges
File Attachment
None
Web-link
Reference
Lavis, J. (2006). Research, public policymaking, and knowledge-translation processes: Canadian efforts to build bridges. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 26(1), doi: 10.1002/chp.49
Type of Material
Journal Article
Format
Periodical
Cost to Access
Journal purchase
Language
English
Conditions for Use
Copyright © 2006. The Alliance for Continuing Medical Education, the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education, and the Council on CME, Association for Hospital Medical Education. All rights reserved.

Title of Supplementary Resource
Assessing country-level efforts to link research to action
File Attachment
None
Web-link
Reference
Lavis, J.N., Lomas, J., Hamid, M. & Sewankambo, N.K. (2006). Assessing country-level efforts to link research to action. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 84(8), 620-628.
Type of Material
Journal Article
Format
Periodical
Cost to Access
None.
Language
English
Conditions for Use
Copyright © 2006 World Health Organization

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