Quality Assessment of Community Evidence (QACE) Tools

Evidence-informed decision making in public health uses the best-available evidence to inform decisions. The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tool’s (NCCMT’s) model for evidence-informed decision making in public health identifies sources of evidence into four domains: local health issues and local context; community and political preferences and actions; resources; and research. It is important to assess whether the quality of evidence is good enough to influence decision making.

The Quality Assessment of Community Evidence Tools were developed to support you in using the best available evidence in practice, programs, and policy.

The Quality Assessment of Community Evidence Tools assess the quality of evidence for:

A) local health issues and local context; and

B) community and political preferences and actions.

The Quality Assessment of Community Evidence Tools help practitioners answer the question: “Is the quality of this evidence about community needs and preferences good enough to influence decision making?

There are many available tools to assess the quality of research evidence indexed in our Registry of Methods and Tools. Several modules in our Learning Centre can help you learn how to do critical appraisal. A tool to assess the quality of evidence for resources is currently in development. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay up-to-date on new products.



Development of the Quality Assessment of Community Evidence Tools

The Quality Assessment of Community Evidence Tools were created by reviewing existing frameworks, tools and measures for appraising population health and community evidence. The developers identified consistent themes, which yielded the three core dimensions of quality described in the Quality Assessment of Community Evidence Tools: relevant, trustworthy and equity-informed. Questions to inform each of the three dimensions are provided in table format for each source of evidence. In many cases, the suggested questions draw on published tools.

Supplementary tools are included with each version of the Quality Assessment of Community Evidence Tool. Below is a list of resources to explore if you are interested in knowing more about how to assess the quality of a particular dimension. If you find that the quality of currently available evidence is poor or limited, these resources can help you improve the quality of future evidence and documentation.

Related Resources

The following resources were used to inform the development of the Quality Assessment of Community Evidence Tools. Access these resources to explore any of the included domains.

Resource Description Link
Criteria for Evaluating Transferability of Health Interventions: A Systematic Review and Thematic Synthesis This systematic review aims to develop a model for assessing the transferability of health interventions. Link
Framework for Selecting Best Practices in Public Health This evaluation framework proposes measures of success for public health interventions in terms of their context, process and outcomes. Link
GRADE-CERQual This approach guides assessment of systematic reviews of qualitative research. Link
Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research (SRQR) This synthesis of recommendations provides clear standards for reporting qualitative research to improve transparency. Link
Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ)  These criteria provide standards for reporting on interviews and focus groups.  Link
Representative; community engagement; intersectionality    
NICE Guideline for Community Engagement  This guideline recommends community engagement approaches to reduce health inequalities and ensure effectiveness of health and well-being initiatives. Link
CDC Principles of Community Engagement This primer provides an evidence base and practical guidance for engaging community partners.  Link
The 5 Building Blocks for Equity in Collective Impact This framework can be used to ensure health equity is integrated into collective impact efforts.  Link
A Guide to Community Engagement Frameworks for Action on the Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity  This reference guide supports public health practitioners in adopting or revising a community engagement strategy with health equity components.  Link
Public Health Speaks: Intersectionality and Health Equity  This conversation explores the relevance and application of intersectionality in public health practice. Link
Partnership Evaluation Tool This tool measures perceptions and opinions about partnership experiences, which can inform community and stakeholder engagement. Link
Partnerships Analysis Tool  The tool allows organizations to assess and strengthen partnerships through discussion as a method for stakeholder engagement. Link
Inclusivity; lived experience    
Nothing About us Without us The report outlines seven principles for inclusion of people with lived experience. Link
Lived Experience as Expertise This report outlines considerations for establishing advisory groups of people with lived experience of homelessness and/or poverty.  Link
Cultural safety; ethics and values    
Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS 2) on Ethical Data Collection  This joint policy of Canada’s federal research agencies promotes ethical conduct of research involving humans. Link
OCAP® Principles  The First Nations OCAP® principles establish how First Nations data should be collected, protected, used and shared. Link
EQUIP Cultural Safety Module This free online learning module teaches practitioners how to provide culturally safe care. Link
Register here:
Equity-oriented Health Care Scale (E-HoCS) This self-report index measures the degree of equity-oriented health care received by patients and clients. Link
Review of Core Competencies for Public Health  This report reviews and analyzes the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Core Competencies for Public Health within an Indigenous public health framework. Link
Incorporating Ethics into Daily Practice  This webpage indexes tools and resources for practitioners to make ethically-informed decisions.  Link
Ethics Frameworks for Public Health  This repertoire of ethics frameworks includes adapted summaries that can be applied directly in practice.  Link