[caption id="attachment_5436" align="alignright" width="157"] Bonnie Zink[/caption] Bonnie Zink, Corporate Writer, Researcher & Editor In this guest post, Bonnie Zink writes about her experience at the recent Health Research Transfer Network of Alberta conference. From rock, paper, scissors to smart neural prostheses it sounds like this conference covered a lot of ground. ThanksRead More
The following was originally posted in YFile, York University's Daily News, on October 23, 2012 and is reposted here with permission. When it comes to conveying the important research to the broader community, clear language summaries are the best choice, this according to a new article published in the peer-reviewed journal, Scholarly & Research Communications. Led byRead More
The following was originally posted on The Guardian’s Higher Education Network blog on October 9, 2012 and is reposted here with permission.
Maximising the impact of research on society depends on universities brokering the right partnerships with public policy, says David Phipps – and Canada is leading the way.
Earlier this year on the Higher Education Network, I introduced knowledge mobilisation as a university-based process that connects academic social sciences and humanities research to non-academic decision makers to inform decisions about public policy and professional practice, enhance social innovation and develop sustainable solutions to social, environmental, economic and cultural challenges.
I then reflected on its past – the roots of knowledge mobilisation as we now understand it. In this third installment, I return to the present to see how York University in Toronto is supporting collaborations between researchers and partner to maximise the impact of research on society.
We started York University’s knowledge mobilisation practice by trying to push out existing research results to find “receptors” and soon realised that we needed more interactive methods of closing the gap that exists between research within a higher education context and the policy and practice which could use it. Researchers and their partners need to find a middle ground in which to collaborate so that research not only meets the academic standards of scholarship but is also relevant to non-academic partners.
Today York University’s knowledge mobilisation unit uses a suite of services available to faculty and students from all disciplines across the university. Our knowledge mobilisation staff help faculty and partners identify and develop research collaborations through meetings support, student interns and the use of social media as a connecting channel. We have recently published a report on our full range of services.
- Set realistic ambitions and expectations: Research is one form of knowledge that policy makers and practitioners will be using, but it is rare for research to have the definitive word.
- Improve research strategies to ensure they address relevant issues and expand our knowledge base rather than unwittingly replicate existing studies. Reviewing research and evaluation processes helps to ensure that research responds to relevant issues and address the main knowledge gaps.
- Shape – as well as respond to – policy and practice debates: Take up opportunities to influence policy and practice debates when they appear, – rather than waiting for opportunities to open up, work with advocacy organisations to raise issues of concern and get debates going.
- Create dialogue around research by pulling together different perspectives: Research on its own does not create change, but it can influence it. Encourage dialogues between people that recognises research needs to interact with practice experience and tacit knowledge.
- Recognise the role of dedicated knowledge broker organisations and networks: There are increasing numbers of knowledge broker organisations and networks who can help to facilitate the creation, sharing and application of research-based knowledge.
- Target multiple audiences to increase the reach and impact of your message: Disseminate research findings into wider political and public debate, alongside more targeted approaches. This might be targeting influential people, participating in media debates, speaking at policy and practice conferences and seminars or responding to consultation processes.
- Evaluate, learn, improve: Knowledge exchange is still an immature discipline; only through improved evaluation and learning will our understanding of effective strategies develop over time.
David Phipps, RIR-York
On Tuesday September 25 , I cleared my morning so that I could be the only Canadian participant in a workshop on Policy Influence and Monitoring. The workshop was in Cornwall in the UK. I was in Toronto in Canada. WebEx and Skype connected us.
Le mardi 25 septembre, j’ai libéré ma matinée afin de pouvoir être le seul participant canadien à un atelier sur l’influence des politiques et le suivi. L’atelier avait lieu à Cornwall au Royaume-Uni. J’étais à Toronto, au Canada. WebEx et Skype nous ont mis en contact.
Knowledge intermediary work is a global phenomenon. Look at the K* conference in April 2012 that was attended by participants from 5 continents. There are well established practices to enhance the impact of research on policy and practice in developing countries seeded by international organizations like the International Development Research Centre (Canada) and the RAPID program of the Oversees Development Initiative in the UK plus many more. These organizations work with local Southern partners to enhance the impact of research on the lives of citizens in the Global South.
I was invited by the Global Development Network (GD Net) to take part in a workshop on Policy Influence and Monitoring sponsored by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) who were working with a consortium lead by ODI and involving CommsConsult in UK and Zimbabwe, the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) in Sri Lanka and the Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (CIPPEC) in Argentina. They came together to explore two questions:
- What is policy influence?
- How do we measure it?
There were about 20 participants in Cornwall plus Vanesa Weyrauch joining from Argentina, Peter da Costa joining from Kenya, Simon Batchelor based in the UK, also joining remotely and me… from Canada.Read More
Van De Ven, A. & Johnson, P. (2006). Knowledge for theory and practice. Academy of Management Review, 31(4), 802-821. http://www.ualberta.ca/~dcl3/KT/Academy%20of%20Management%20Review_Van%20De%20Ven_Knowledge%20for%20theory%20and%20practice_2006.pdf Abstract We examine three related ways in which the gap between theory and practice has been framed. One approach views it as a knowledge transfer problem, a second argues that theory and practice represent distinct kindsRead More
Jérôme Elissalde et Luc Dancause, RIR-UQAM Une vidéo lancée par l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) donne la parole à des acteurs de la mobilisation des connaissances sur les défis et les enjeux des relations universités-milieux. A new video launched by the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) gives the opportunity toRead More