UVic Summer Interns 2009

The interns for UVic’s KM/CBR Sumer Internship program have been selected! Through the ResearchImpact initiative, the UVic Office of Community Based Research is sponsoring ten graduate students to work hands on with a local Community Organizations on a piece of research relating to social policy. The UVic KM Coordinator received 27 outstanding proposals, and an evaluation panel comprised of both academic and community voices narrowed it down to ten projects. The project partners include AIDS Vancouver Island, Our Place Society, Blood Ties Four Directions Center, the Sto:lo Resource Management and Resource Center, to name a few. The students are currently working on their Human Research Ethics proposals, and then the real work begins! The UVic Office of Community Based Research and Knowledge Mobilization Unit are thrilled to be able to provide this opportunity for deserving graduate students to respond to research needs in their community.

Not Business as Usual: A Forum on Infrastructure Climate Change Adaptation – April 30

On April 30, the Toronto Urban Climate Change Network (TUCCN) hosted a full day event focusing on infrastructure and climate change adaptation held at the historic St. Lawrence Hall in downtown Toronto. TUCCN member YorkU was one of the sponsors for the event and ResearchImpact was there along with several other YorkU faculty members and students. The day was made up of keynote speeches, panel discussions and facilitated break-out sessions. Some of the speakers included representatives from Environment Canada, the Toronto Environment Office (TEO), the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Pollution Probe, as well as Adam Freed, Senior Policy Advisor for Climate Change Adaptation in New York City and Joyce Coffee, Director of Project Development with the Chicago Department of the Environment.

Mayor David Miller

Mayor David Miller

Toronto Mayor David Miller also spoke and outlined some of the climate change adaptation plans the City of Toronto is currently working on. One that I found particularly interesting is the plan to reclad the hundreds of concrete high-rises around the city in order to improve their insulation value. Recladding these buildings would cut our regions greenhouse gas emissions by 3-4%. Mayor Miller also spoke strongly about the need for the city to work collaboratively with planners, researchers, engineers and other climate change experts to tackle this problem. In the past, infrastructure planning has been done using historic climate data but with the climate changes we are presently experiencing, making plans based on 100 year old data is not going to be useful for planning for the future. We need to be working together with the latest future focused information. I think Mayor Miller is spot on with this thinking and it was great to see that this idea was reflected in the mix of attendees.

For more information about TUCCN and upcoming events, visit their web site at www.tuccn.org.

TUCCN Members

TUCCN Members

Social Inclusion for Health and Well Being in Program Evaluation – Thursday, April 30

The York Institute of Health Research led a dynamic and participatory conference that drew a capacity audience of almost 100 registrants. Supported by the Ministry of Research and Innvoaiton and York University, YIHR is home to an emerging Evaluation Unit that will be offering evaluation services and capacity building. The KM Unit at York was invited to prepare a poster presentation demonstrating its capacity to support program evaluation and social inclusion collaboration via the knowledge broker model. There were a number of conversations that ensued and there was much interest and curiosity from many participants who were not familiar with knowledge mobilization or the capacity that York has built to support KM. Conference organizers were successful in bringing together numerous presenters who shared their experiences and beliefs for social inclusion that promote health and wellness. Program evaluation is important to ensure that programs are aligned to achieve these objectives. Keynote presenter, Daniele Zanotti of the United Way of York Region, summarized the day well with this comment, “This work is the essential ingredient to get communities working together”. Following a morning of panel presentations participants were able to engage in workshops led by university researchers and their community collaborators.

People are invited to visit the YIHR web site for more information on the conference, including copies of all poster presentations and PowerPoint presentations from panel presenters.

Social Inclusion and Program Evaluation Models to Support Social Innovation

Social Inclusion and Program Evaluation Models to Support Social Innovation

YorkU KM in the AM – Immigration and Human Services – Tuesday April 28

Stephen Lam

Stephen Lam

Stephen Lam Director of Immigrant Services and Community Programs with Catholic Community Services of York Region and Dr. Valerie Preston a Professor with the Department of Geography at York University were the speakers at York’s most recent KM in the AM event, held at the Police Headquarters Community Room in Vaughn. Twenty people were present to participate in the forum that brings together university researchers and non-academic leaders to explore issues and opportunities relating to Immigration and Human Services in York Region.

Stephen Lam provided a comprehensive overview of the issues from a local perspective, utilizing a SWOT approach (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) to position these issues. His experiences serving as a member of the Human Services Planning Coalition, as well as supporting the development of the Welcome Centre, provided the complexity of supporting the extensive Immigrant community via Human Services provision.

Valerie Preston

Valerie Preston

Professor Valerie Preston is a resident of York Region and is a Principal Investigator on a York Infrastructure Project, which is examining immigrant experiences with regard to housing and human services utilizing recent census data and geographic information system (GIS) technology. Prof. Preston shared statistics and findings from her studies to provide an overview of the issues for immigrant housing in York Region, along with overarching challenges for supporting the immigrant population in York Region. She is also Director of The Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS).

The discussion which followed was highly engaging and provided everyone with the opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences. Given the interest and discussion, York’s KM Unit will revisit this topic, as we aim to provide space for research and knowledge-based collaborative development. Thank you to all who attended and to Valerie and Stephen for their valuable contributions that helped to create and sustain the dialogue.

KM, KMb, KT, the other KT, KTE… now consider KI

OK, so we didn’t see it when it came out last year but Sandra Nutley and her team (including Huw Davies and Isabel Walter) associated with the University of Edinburgh’s Research Unit for Research Utilization published another excellent article on KM. They published “Why ‘knowledge transfer’ is misconceived for applied social research” in the Journal of Health Services, Research & Policy (Vol 13 No 3, 2008: 188–190). As leaders in the theory of research utilization, Sandra and her team point out why terms such as knowledge transfer and knowledge translation under represent the complexities and iterative nature of most strategies aimed at facilitating or enhancing research utilization. Such terms privilege “scientific” knowledge and marginalize other forms of knowledge and ways of knowing. They also ignore the frequent need for un-learning as part of the research utilization process. As an alternative they suggest:

“While any term is likely to open itself up to fresh critique, we suggest that ‘knowledge interaction’ might more appropriately describe the messy engagement of multiple players with diverse sources of knowledge. We also suggest that ‘knowledge intermediation’ begins to articulate some of the managed processes by which knowledge interaction is promoted.”

KM isn’t mentioned and we use it to describe a suite of services that enhances the two-way connection between researchers and research users so that research and evidence can inform decisions about public policy and professional practice. KM encompasses methods of knowledge transfer, translation and exchange and extends them to include the co-production of knowledge. This managed process could be described as knowledge intermediation…or knowledge mobilization…

Whatever we call it, it is clear that the communities engaged in such practices are growing and over time we are confident we will coalesce around a term or terms on which there is substantial agreement. Until then such dialogues are interesting but we know what we mean and know it when we see it so as practitioners, let’s get on and “just do it”.

YorkU to host David Yetman of the Harris Centre, MUN on May 12

The KM Unit at York is hosting a talk on Tuesday May 12 and all are invited. David Yetman is the Manager of Knowledge Mobilization at the Leslie Harris Centre with Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. Johns. David will speak about Memorial’s experiences with KM and will demonstrate a new research search engine designed to support knowledge co-production in Newfoundland and Labrador. Information on KM activity at Memorial University can be found on their web site.

David has been managing the KM Unit at Memorial since 2004 and is also currently pursuing a Ph.D. within the Faculty of Medicine. His area of study is KM and will provide a rich theoretical background in addition to this operational experience and leadership in this area.

The event is taking place from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. in York Lanes 280. Space is limited and people are requested to RSVP to kejensen@yorku.ca. See the poster below for more details.

David Yetman May 12, 2009

ResearchImpact Funds Homelessness Research and Knowledge Mobilization

“At this time, there is a dearth of information on the effectiveness of our responses to homelessness and our service models, including housing programs. That is, there is very little evaluation research of programs in Canada…In an era of increasing solutions to homelessness, it is increasingly important to know what works, why it works and for whom it works.”

Stephen Gaetz

Stephen Gaetz

ResearchImpact has a mandate to link researchers and decision makers in Victoria and Toronto but such collaborations need to be seeded in order to develop into full partnerships. ResearchImpact is investing in collaborative research and KM projects that address social challenges that are common to the two cities. Through a competitive process York has made a $30,000 grant to a project lead by Stephen Gaetz (York University), Bernie Pauly (University of Victoria) and their community partners Rachel Gray (Eva’s Initiatives), Kathy Stinson (Victoria Cool Aid Society) and Jill Clements, (Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness). Stephen and Bernie are joined by colleagues at York (Uzo Anucha, Stephanie Baker Collins, Michaela Hynie and Daphne Winland) and at UVic (Jutta Gutberlet, Aleck Ostry, Margo Matwychuk and Darlene Clover).

Their project, Ending Homelessness: “What works and for whom?” will establish a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of programs that address ending homelessness and it has three components:

• Based on a review of the literature and expert consultation, develop indicators for assessing programs and practices aimed at ending homelessness;


Bernie Pauly

• Develop and test an evaluation framework for assessing the effectiveness of programs for ending homelessness

• Using plain language summaries, technology to enhance access to the project and dissemination using the Homeless Hub the project will mobilize knowledge related to best practices in ending homelessness and guidelines for program evaluation in order to enhance community capacity and to allow other communities to use the evaluation methodologies developed.

The project will run jointly in both cities and results made available during Fall 2009. Good luck to the team. Stay tuned to Mobilize This! for more information on this and other investments ResearchImpact is making for social innovation.

UVic Research Partnership Strategies Recognized in Europe

Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator Laura Milne, who works in the UVic Office of Community Based Research, was invited as a guest speaker to the STACS (Science Technology and Civil Society) Policy Meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium to discuss UVic’s innovative approach to collaborating with Community and Government organizations on Research Partnerships.

The various researchers involved in the STACS project have recognized that Canadian Universities, and UVic in particular, have taken a leadership role in engaging stakeholders from multiple sectors in research that relates to social issues and public policy. The Knowledge Mobilization initiative and the Office of Community Based Research are two excellent examples of how UVic supports Civic Engagement and continues to make the connection between the university research and the larger community, and the opportunity to discuss these strategies with researchers and policy makers in an international context is extremely valuable.

ACCELERATE Ontario Internship Workshop – April 27

YorkU’s KM Unit is pleased to be working in partnership with ACCELERATE Ontario and their graduate student internship program. Click here to learn more about the internship opportunities offered by YorkU’s KM Unit in partnership with ACCELERATE Ontario. We are also happy to announce this upcoming workshop hosted by MITACS ACCELERATE.

Build on your skills for success! Join MITACS Skills Enhancement Program for this one-day interactive, workshop and improve your networking skills!

As part of MITACS Skills Enhancement Program, this workshop was developed to provide opportunities for students to build on skill sets necessary to succeed in both the academia and industry setting.

Limited funding is available for student travel and accommodation for participants coming from outside of the Greater Toronto Area. Please contact Amanda Casorso, Events Coordinator, for eligibility.

***Registration is open to all MITACS students and past, present, and prospective MITACS ACCELERATE Interns – including all postdocs and students at the graduate level***

Monday April 27, 2009
Register Here!

or Go To:

What: Effective Networking!
When: Monday, April 27, 2009
Where: 89 Chestnut Street, Toronto, ON
Time: 8:30AM-4:30PM (Registration 8:00AM Sharp!)

You’ve all heard the saying “you are only as good as your network”, but have you ever wondered how to get one?

Maximize your conference experience and Join MITACS Skills Enhancement Program to experience firsthand the power of positive networking. From academia to industry to your personal life, these skills will help you succeed!

All students attending MITACS 2009 Annual Conference are eligible to attend this pre-conference workshop and are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to immediately apply advanced learned networking skills in the following conference days.

What you will learn:

    Participants encouraged to works on strategies to build relationships with present network as well as cross-network between disciplines.
    Confidence, social intelligence skills.
    Learn to build extensive, long-lasting connections;
    Fuelling and maximizing existing connections.
    Making networking a priority, where to locate relevant networking opportunities and events beyond ‘business only events’.
    Dealing with networking roadblocks – getting comfortable handing out business cards

Donna Messer, ConnectUs Communications Canada

Donna Messer is an author, speaker and trainer for ConnectUs Communications Canada, her networking training has been added to the curriculum of colleges, universities, boardrooms and government offices around the world. Statistics show effective networking has a significant impact on income; that it’s not the quantity of business cards collected, rather the quality of the relationship built. Messer is a journalist and the lifestyle editor for several Canadian publications. Her expertise in networking is recognized worldwide. Her book “Effective Networking Strategies” is a best seller.
She can be reached through the website – www.connectuscanada.com.

***Please note that there is a $50.00 deposit to attend each workshop. This will be reimbursed to you pending confirmation of your attendance***

What’s included:

    workshop materials
    lunch and coffee breaks
    access to recognized expertise
    networking opportunities

***Limited funding is available for travel and accommodation for participants coming from outside of the Greater Toronto Area***

For information and/or to apply for travel & accommodation funding please contact Amanda Casorso, Events Coordinator at acasorso@mitacs.ca.

For more information on the Skills Enhancement Program please contact Kamilla Karoli, Programs Coordinator at kkaroli@mitacs.ca.

Opportunity Description Form

It all begins here, the Opportunity Description Form

In over three years, knowledge brokers at York University and the University of Victoria have supported over 100 collaborative partnerships between researchers and local decision makers. One constant amongst all collaborations is the Opportunity Description Form. This one-page form, found on the ResearchImpact website provides users the chance to state in their own words what they are seeking from a research-based collaboration. The ResearchImpact Brokers then use these, similar to a calling card, to help identify a proper match. It is possible for organizations to produce multiple opportunity description forms each presenting a new request. The range of requests vary considerably; some organizations are seeking expertise in program evaluation, others are looking for capacity to help advance a project, and others are seeking collaborators to jointly develop a proposal.

Give some thought about the research-based needs in your organization then jot them onto the one-page opportunity description form and forward it to a knowledge broker in the ResearchImpact network . It is as simple as that, and the results can be truly transformative!

Stay tuned for new and exciting changes to the ResearchImpact website which will make this process even easier!

Student Led Research Symposium

For the last two years, the Knowledge and Information Services branch of the BC Ministry of Labour and Citizens Services has given all 9 BC Universities $30,000 each to award graduate student grants for Research in the Field of Social Policy.

On February 27th, the UVic Knowledge Mobilization Unit collaborated with the Knowledge and Information Services branch to organize a Symposium for the students who received these grants to present their work to Government officials and University representatives from across BC. There were over 80 attendees from various Ministries, Community agencies, and University departments, and the research that was presented by the graduate students was extremely well received.

The Knowledge Mobilization Unit at UVic has been responsible for administering these grants at UVic, and continues to work closely with the BC Government to encourage Government-University research partnerships and to support evidence-informed policy and decision making.

Social Inclusion for Health and Well Being in Program Evaluation – April 30

York Institute for Health Research (YIHR)
Social Inclusion for Health and Well Being in Program Evaluation
Thursday April 30, 2009, 8:30am-5:00pm, York University

The York Institute for Health Research is hosting a full-day workshop on program evaluation and social inclusion to launch their a program eavluation centre. The day includes a keynote address by Daniele Zanotti, CEO of the United Way for York Region, presentations by academic and community partners, and workshops on evaluation including arts-based evaluation and program evaluation methodology.

This event brings together academic and community researchers and professionals from health and health-related areas to share their knowledge and experiences in evaluating access and equity goals in program outcomes, as well as the strengths and challenges of applying social inclusion principles to program evaluation processes.

Issues of diversity and social inclusion have an impact on how programs and services are delivered to meet a wide range of client needs. Thus, diversity and social inclusion are critical to the evaluation of programs and their effectiveness. Funding agencies increasingly expect community organizations to conduct evidence-based program evaluations to demonstrate that their programs are making a difference for their diverse clients, and that their programs achieve social inclusion goals.

Through attending this workshop, you will:
• Learn methods and tools for program evaluation;
• Learn the importance of social inclusion and evaluation in designing your project
• Learn about innovative program evaluation projects;
• Learn about the challenges of doing program evaluations;
• Develop networking opportunities for future research and program alliances, including connecting with the Centre for Program Evaluation;
• Share resources for professional use and development;
• Learn from funding bodies about programs, resources, expectations and trends for social inclusion and doing program evaluation with diverse populations.

Intended Audience
This event provides an opportunity for academics, community and advocacy group members, policy analysts, funders, independent and student researchers to share their experiences and knowledge of program evaluation and research on diversity and social inclusion.

Researchers and professionals from a diverse range of health/healthcare, health-related and policy sectors including, but not limited to, women’s, ethno-specific, disability, lesbian/gay/bisexual/ transgender/queer (LGBTQ), Aboriginal, senior, youth and immigrant health services, and diversity, access and equity groups will attend panel sessions and workshops, and be invited to share poster presentations on the conference topic from a variety of disciplines.

Registration is $25 and space is limited so act now! The registration deadline is April 15th, 2009. To receive a registration form, please contact Dr. Yuka Nakamura at nakamura@yorku.ca.

Immigration and Human Services KM in the AM – April 28

The YorkU KM Unit will be hosting its next KM of the AM event on Tuesday, April 28th. The topic of the morning will focus on immigration and human services, with brief presentations by a university researcher and a community agency representative, followed by ample time for questions, discussion, and networking.

Confirmed Speakers:
Valerie Preston, Director of the Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS) and Professor, Department of Geography, York University
Stephen Lam, Director of Immigrant Services and Community Programmes, Catholic Community Services of York Region (CCSYR)

Date: Tuesday, April 28

Time: 8:45 to 10:45 am. Breakfast will be served at 8:45. The meeting will start at 9:00.

Location: York Regional Police District 4 Station
2700 Rutherford Rd
Vaughan, ON

Space is limited. Kindly RSVP kejensen@yorku.ca to confirm your attendance.

Getting to Maybe

On June 4, 2008 I wrote about Using Evidence by Nutley, Walter and Davies. This book has been my principal KM reference but I have a new, equally favourite, book to recommend to you: Getting to Maybe by Frances Westley, Brenda Zimmerman (of York’s Schulich School of Business, ) and Michael Quinn Patton. Using Evidence is about the science of research utilization (=knowledge mobilization) for policy and practice (=social innovation). Getting to Maybe is about the actors (=social innovators) who operate within a system of social innovation. Using case studies of successful social innovators, Getting to Maybe illustrates how social innovators can maximize the chances of creating an impact and it provides numerous recommendations for social innovators, their organizations (usually NGOs), their funders (usually Foundations) and their receptors (usually policy makers). Getting to Maybe doesn’t guarantee success or present a formula which, if followed, will generate results. Getting to Maybe focuses on key learnings that are important for all social innovators and their stakeholders.

Finally Getting to Maybe about creating the right conditions where maybe, change might happen.

Getting to MaybeThis book contains valuable lessons and will inform much of the work of knowledge brokers. Order your copy here.

Some KM relevant messages from Getting to Maybe:

• Social innovation is a complex (as opposed to complicated) problem. Complexity science can guide approaches to social innovation.
• Relationships, amongst other attributes, are key for social innovation
• Individuals operate in systems and successful social innovators examine their own role in those systems
• Premature evaluation can stifle social innovation by seeking end points; developmental evaluation focuses on learnings not end points
• All systems must go through cycles of exploitation → conservation → release (=“creative destruction”) → reorganization in order to remain innovative and avoid the “rigidity gap”. This is why “success is not a fixed address”.
• Social innovation is catalyzed through connection, confrontation and collaboration.
• It is important to stand still, to reflect and analyze. Reflection is action. This is a particularly important message for me, personally, as I tend to race more than I reflect.
• Social Innovation is like improvising jazz: every player listens, understands and everyone leads from their own place of understanding.