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Knowledge Translation Toolkit Questions to be addressed regarding KT in research projects. By Yvon Allard M.Sc. Policy Analyst Métis Centre @ NAHO Métis Centre @ NAHO A key objective of the Métis Centre @ NAHO is to transfer research findings and new knowledge into policy and practice to improve primary health care for the Métis and improve the health status and health outcomes of the Métis. Knowledge translation for MC@NAHO involves the systematic examination of: the origin of the research; the assumptions underpinning the research process; the degree to which the research is perceived to have resulted in changes to policy, practice and health outcomes for organizations and Métis/First Nations/Inuit (M/FN/I) communities; and the perceptions of factors which impeded or supported the translation of the research into improved health outcomes and health status for M/FN/I communities. Dr. Mason Durie (Maori Researcher) (Durie 2004): “Indigenous knowledge cannot be verified by scientific criteria nor can science be adequately assessed according to the tenets of indigenous knowledge. Each is built on distinctive philosophies, methodologies, and criteria.” “The challenge is to afford each belief system its own integrity, while developing approaches that can incorporate aspects of both and lead to innovation, greater relevance, and additional opportunities for the creation of new knowledge.” Concept of Knowledge Translation Knowledge Translation is an overarching paradigm (concept) that encompasses both research transfer and knowledge brokering. Knowledge translation encourages research findings and new knowledge to be taken up in evidence-based policy, service delivery and practice. Processes that encourage stakeholder involvement are a particular focus of Knowledge Translation, as is detailed dissemination planning and targeting key positions in stakeholder groups. Concept of Knowledge Translation There is a critical need for capacity exchange or capacity development for conducting research in Métis/First Nations/Inuit (M/FN/I) communities. This requires the exchange of knowledge, skills and resources to build research capacity on an individual, organizational, community and workforce level. Increased research capacity for M/FN/I involves developing workforce skills, research project management skills, partnerships and other resources such quantitative and qualitative analyses skills. Knowledge Translation (KT) involves both: Research Transfer and Knowledge Brokerage Research Transfer Population health policy, in the form of laws, guidelines, and regulations, has a profound effect on health status and health outcomes. Research Transfer is making sure research is used to inform policy, practice and service provision. Research transfer requires use of more dynamic mechanisms for engaging stakeholders in order to increase their uptake and application of research information (and thereby enhance the decision- making process). Research Transfer (cont.) KT is in part a recognition of the difference between: data (unorganized facts); information (data plus specific context); and knowledge (information plus judgement based on world view). Métis/First Nations/Inuit (M/FN/I) knowledge must be created with an Indigenous perspective to translate data to information, and finally into new Indigenous knowledge. Knowledge Brokering Knowledge Brokerage is connecting people with people, people with information, and people with other people with specific skill sets in order to help solve problems in communities. The principles of OCAP are integral to knowledge brokerage in M/FN/I research projects. The development of a community-driven health research infrastructure is seen as a long-term benefit of OCAP. KT and “Social Marketing” “Social Marketing” is a technique used in knowledge translation. Social Marketing talks to the consumer (target populations), not about the product. In social marketing, the primary focus is on the consumer-- on learning what people want and need rather than trying to persuade them to buy what we happen to be producing. KT and Policy KT Capacity Increased knowledge on health issues Evidence-based decisions Improved health status and health outcomes Strategic research planning by M/FN/I organizations and communities. How should M/FN/I (and non- M/FN/I ) organizations and communities set research priorities which are likely to lead to improvements in M/FN/I health, as well as increased knowledge? Knowledge translation is the linkage between the processes of research and the processes of decision- making in policy and practice, at national, regional, community and individual levels. KT and Research Project Committees Knowledge translation operates in two directions: research-based knowledge can influence decisions, and the problems of the decision-maker and/or consumer can guide the researcher. Organizations and communities must establish a research committee or review process to assess research proposals. Research committees must develop criteria for evaluating research proposals. The MC Toolkit is such a process to integrate KT into the research process. Planning Knowledge Translation The Métis Centre “KT Toolkit” is a set of 10 questions that should be addressed in the planning stages of any M/FN/I research project. The answers derived by the planning committee are incorporated into the „Research and Funding Proposal‟. KT is therefore addressed and planned for at the front end of a project, rather than as an afterthought. 10 Questions in Planning KT The following 10 questions should be asked by research committees/teams and its stakeholders (organizations, communities) to make operational and to incorporate the concept of Knowledge Translation (KT) in regards to research in M/FN/I communities. Q1. What is this project trying to achieve? What do you hope will happen as a result of the research project in regards to health status and outcomes in M/FN/I communities? Is it likely to have an impact on health service provision, health professionals‟ practice, policy and funding allocations, treatment options, building capacity, or informing healthy behaviour? Q2. Who are the potential users of the outcomes or knowledge from the project? Evidence shows that the involvement of potential users in the planning, conduct and dissemination of projects is likely to assist the uptake of research. The research project committee has to „market‟ (i.e. social marketing) the KT process to stakeholders, including the knowledge created by the research project. Q3. How does this project relate to other current research work or trends in policy and practice? Policy makers prefer to engage with a synthesis of knowledge rather than individual research project reports. If the findings of the research project puts forward radically new treatment options, you may anticipate some resistance from potential users. One of the biggest challenges to research transfer is that users will adopt research findings most easily if the findings match their own preconceived beliefs or world view. They will be very slow to adopt any findings that don‟t, such as Indigenous worldviews. Q4. How can you try to ensure your project achieves an impact? Involving potential users is one way. You also need to make sure that the ways you try to communicate with different potential users is suitable for their needs. Translating research findings into changes in health policy may require the production of briefing notes, meetings with politicians and public servants, and an action-learning approach to implement the change at the level of service provision. Q5. What are the risks or obstacles to successful research transfer for this project? Think about the potential barriers to research transfer relevant to your project. Barriers might include a hostile political climate, or language and cultural differences between researchers, policy makers and community members. The creation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among research participants is a strategy that can be used. Q6. What are the opportunities which exist around this project to facilitate knowledge translation? One of the strongest facilitating factors is the deep desire of researchers and organizations to help communities and to improve the health status and health outcomes of M/FN/I peoples. What are the key issues and concepts that the research findings address? What are the opportunities to lobby for changes to programs and policies or to create new policies? What new strategies can be utilized to address health issues? Q7. Can capacity development be an outcome of this project? Research is a capacity developing activity – by planning carefully you can maximize the opportunities for capacity development for project team members, participants, organizations and communities. A fundamental component of community-based research is to develop research capacity „within the community‟. Researchers must be in place in M/FN/I communities and organizations (e.g. NAHO), as well as in universities, to engage in research and KT. Q8. What are the dissemination and publication requirements for this project? Will it require the publication of a report, a journal article, the production of a video, a series of workshops or a media campaign? Will the findings of the research project be published in M/FN/I media, such as newsletters, newspaper, radio, television, journals? This could be at the local, regional, provincial/territorial, national and international levels. Will the findings be presented at conferences organized by M/FN/I organizations (NAHO, IAPH- CIHR, Circumpolar Health)? Q9. How have/will you provide feedback to community organizations or members who participated in the research? This is one of the most sensitive areas in Indigenous health research because in the past researchers often did not report back to communities and were seen to be taking community knowledge and giving nothing back. Effective engagement with communities and participants is also one of the richest potential areas of learning. NAHO and it‟s Centres provide advice on effective strategies on learning. Q10. How much will a KT process cost? Make sure you budget for knowledge translation in the project proposal. Effective strategies for knowledge translation are likely to cost money, and are also very likely to take considerable time to make sure they work. Without effective planning and budgeting for research transfer, all the hard work and commitment of organizations and M/FN/I participants in doing the research may be “lost in translation”. 10 Questions in KT Q1. What is this project trying to achieve? Q2. Who are the potential users of the outcomes or knowledge from the project? Q3. How does this project relate to other current research work or trends in policy and practice? Q4. How can you try to ensure your project achieves an impact? Q5. What are the risks or obstacles to successful knowledge translation for this project? 10 KT Questions (cont.) Q6. What are the opportunities which exist around this project to facilitate knowledge translation? Q7. Can capacity development be an outcome of this project? Q8. What are the dissemination and publication requirements for this project? Q9. How have/will you provide feedback to community organizations or members who participated in the research? Q10. How much will a KT process cost? Make sure you budget for knowledge translation. Knowledge Translation and MC @ NAHO Strategic Plan The Métis Centre “KT Toolkit” is a tool to be utilized in the planning stages of any M/FN/I community- based research project. The Métis Centre @ NAHO will actively support KT strategies designed to ensure that new knowledge is shared and used to improve care, treatment and prevention services, and to shape policy in regards to health status and health outcomes in M/FN/I Communities and Peoples.
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