Worksheets to guide knowledge transfer and exchange initiatives

A Summary of

Reardon, R., Lavis, J., & Gibson, J. (2006). From research to practice: A knowledge transfer planning guide. Retrieved from


Developed by the Institute of Work & Health, this guide helps users navigate the complexities of planning a knowledge transfer project. The worksheets contained in this planning guide were designed to be used in conjunction with a facilitated workshop on knowledge transfer and exchange. However, they also provide the user with a series of factors to consider when planning for the maximum uptake of knowledge transfer initiatives. The researchers briefly describe three knowledge transfer models (producer push, user pull and exchange). They place particular emphasis on the importance of building relationships for knowledge exchange.

The four worksheets are based on the five questions that underlie the organizing framework for knowledge transfer, as proposed by Lavis et al. (2003):

  1. What should be transferred?
  2. To whom should the message be transferred?
  3. By whom should the message be transferred?
  4. How should the message be transferred?
  5. With what effect/impact should the message be transferred?

These questions lead the user through the process of defining the appropriate message(s), audience(s), messenger(s), transfer method(s) and approach(es) for evaluating the impact of the knowledge transfer project.

Access the Tool

Format of the Tool




On-line Access



There is no monetary cost associated with accessing this toolkit.

Using the Tool

Time for Participation/Completion

Information not available

The developers do not define a time period, as knowledge transfer projects may vary with respect to need, urgency, complexity, breadth and depth of consideration given to the issue/topic/body of evidence. The developers emphasize the importance of investing in efforts to build and maintain relationships with audiences. This is viewed as the first step toward creating opportunities for effective knowledge exchange.

Additional Resources and/or Skills Needed for Implementation

This planning guide was designed to be used in conjunction with a facilitated workshop on planning knowledge transfer initiatives. These workshops are conducted over the course of 1 or 2 days and facilitated by staff members skilled in knowledge transfer & exchange at the Institute for Work & Health. To implement these tools, users require skills and capacity in the following areas: knowledge of the intended audience and specific needs of decision makers, project/ program performance, measurement and evaluation and communications.

Steps for Using Method/Tool

This toolkit guides users through a series of steps designed to help them plan their knowledge transfer project by identifying:

  • the intended audience(s) with whom they wish to communicate
  • the type of and structure of the message(s) they wish to communicate
  • actual or potential barriers and facilitators to be considered in planning transfer strategy
  • the most appropriate person(s) to deliver the message
  • the most effective and feasible mechanism(s) to transfer the message(s)
  • desired outcomes and the defined impact of the knowledge transfer project
  • measures and indicators required to demonstrate evidence of impact

Who is involved

Public/community health nurses, health promotion officers, epidemiologists, health and policy analysts, research and evaluation specialists, public health/community dieticians and other members of the inter-professional public health team are likely to find these series of tools useful when planning a knowledge translation initiative. Targeted audiences may include groups such as public health practitioners, decision makers, policy makers, program funders, community-based organizations and the community at large.

Conditions for Use

© 2006 Institute for Work & Health

Evaluation of the Tool


Information not available


Not applicable


Not applicable

Methodological Rating

Not applicable

Development of the Tool


Rhonda Reardon
Jane Brenneman Gibson
John Lavis

Method of Development

Health care practitioners with experience in knowledge transfer and exchange at the Institute for Work & Health developed this planning guide. The worksheets are based on five questions that make up a framework for planning and organizing knowledge transfer strategies (Lavis et al., 2003). The worksheets feature information about translation strategies/ mechanisms and how to assess their effectiveness (Grimshaw et al., 2001).

Release Date


Contact Person/Source

Jane Brenneman Gibson
Institute for Work & Health
481 University Avenue, 8th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2E9
Phone: (416) 927-2027, ext. 2173

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.

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