Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a knowledge translation tool

A Summary of

Driedger, S.M., Kothari, A., Graham, I.D., Cooper, E., Crighton, E.J., Zahab, M., et al. (2010). If you build it, they still may not come: Outcomes and process of implementing a community-based integrated knowledge translation mapping innovation. Implementation Science, 5, 47.

Relevance for Public Health

In government, policy analysts evaluate and summarize policy options and research for senior bureaucrats who make decisions. At the local level, public health unit managers apply research provided by in-house data analysts or epidemiologists. These “dyads” are presented, along with their response to and the use of GIS as a KT tool for evidence-informed decision making. The GIS-based KT tool was examined among Ontario Early Years Centres (OEYCs), which provide services to parents/caregivers with children younger than six years of age as funded under the Canadian early child development strategy.

Description

The resource describes the use of geographic information systems (GIS) mapping as a knowledge translation (KT) tool for evidence-informed decision making. GIS mapping advances evidence-informed decision making by linking the producers of data with users of data who want to report on and use evidence to inform decision making. This resource describes the use of mapping software and maps by Ontario Early Years Centres (OEYCs) data analysts and managers and its impact on decision making. The authors highlight how the GIS software was implemented, the training of and use by data-analyst/manager pairs or dyads, the barriers and limitations to using a GIS-based KT tool for evidence-informed decision making, and the nature of decisions that were derived from the application of the GIS-based KT tool to the local community.

Accessing the Method/Tool


Language(s)

English

Format(s)

Periodical

Cost

None

Implementing the Method/Tool


Time for Participation/Completion

Information not available

Additional Resources and/or Skills Needed for Implementation

None

Steps for Using Method/Tool

The KT intervention was supported by a number of steps, including use of a geographer who facilitated the use and supported the “producers” of evidence. The “users” of evidence (e.g., managers) also participated alongside the data analysts in expert-led tutorials that addressed GIS basics; principles of making and interpreting maps; map classification and continued barriers assessment; and self-assessment regarding system barriers and organizational capacity for GIS use. Extensive evaluation and follow-up procedures were undertaken and data analysis followed qualitative inquiry. A number of hypotheses are provided that consider why there was not greater use of mapping, including:

  • The innovation
  • The adopters
  • The environment
  • The KT intervention
  • Outcome measurement

Who is involved

This resource describes the use of dyads or pairs of “data producers” and “data users.” Health research users include health practitioners, administrators and policy-makers.

Conditions for Use

© 2010 Driedger et al.

Evaluation and Measurement Characteristics


Evaluation

Information not available

Validity

Not applicable

Reliability

Not applicable

Methodological Rating

Not applicable

Method/Tool Development


Developer(s)

Michelle Driedger
Anita Kothari
Ian D Graham
Elizabeth Cooper
Eric J Crighton
Melanie Zahab
Jason Morrison
Michael Sawada

Method of Development

The Ottawa Model for Research Use (OMRU) guided data collection and analysis. EYEMAP software was used as well as other GIS software. Evaluation and follow-up of dyads was extensive and analysis followed the approach to qualitative inquiry.

Release Date

2010

Contact Person/Source

Michelle Driedger
Department of Community Health Science
University of Manitoba
750 Bannatyne Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0W3
Email: michelle_driedger@umanitoba.ca

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.

Resources

Title of Primary Resource If you build it, they still may not come: Outcomes and process of implementing a community-based integrated knowledge translation mapping innovation
File Attachment None
Web-link
Reference

Driedger, S.M., Kothari, A., Graham, I.D., Cooper, E., Crighton, E.J., Zahab, M., et al. (2010). If you build it, they still may not come: Outcomes and process of implementing a community-based integrated knowledge translation mapping innovation. Implementation Science, 5, 47.

Type of Material Journal article
Format Periodical
Cost to Access None.
Language English
Conditions for Use

© 2010 Driedger et al.

Have you used this resource? Share your story!