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Research Matters Knowledge Translation Toolkit. Bennett, G., & Jessani, N. (2011). On the site of the International Development Research Centre.

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Political and institutional influences on the use of evidence in public health policy. A systematic review. Liverani, M., Hawkins, B., & Parkhurst, J.O. (2013). PLoS ONE, 8(10): e77404, 1-9. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077404. Free access.

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Interview with a former minister of Health in the Australian government : Getting evidence into health policy. Roxon, N. (2017). Public Health Research and Practice, 27(1):e2711701. doi: Free access.

Knowledge exchange strategies for interventions and policy in public health. Kouri, D. (2009).  Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, Volume 5, Number 1, January 2009 , pp. 71-83(13). Abstract on the site of ingentaconnect.

Florence Morestin

Knowledge Sharing

The National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy (NCCHPP) has a pan-Canadian mandate to synthesize, translate and exchange knowledge about healthy public policy. 

Image of soup-can telephone © Wojciech Gajda   

The Centre recognizes the participation of at least two kinds of actor in the knowledge sharing process: those who produce the knowledge and those who use it.

We also see a key role for knowledge brokers who are primarily involved in order to facilitate the process between producer and user. 

In the healthy public policy sector, the different roles are usually described as public health actors, managers, policy-makers. Interested groups within non-governmental, community, and not-for-profit organizations also play key roles.  

At the Centre, we place a high level of importance on planning the dissemination of our work, on interacting with producers and users during the production and dissemination processes, and on evaluating these activities. 

Two levels of knowledge sharing
The Centre approaches knowledge sharing at two levels. First, knowledge sharing is part of our mandate and we are naturally interested in practices that will best enable us to produce and share work with those who use it. Second, we also take an interest in practices through which public health actors can share knowledge with their partners or with the stakeholders they wish to influence.

A knowledge sharing centre
As a Centre dedicated to diffusing knowledge, diverse principles guide our work. The most important of these is that knowledge is co-constructed with those who will use it. This principle does not just apply at the time of sharing a finished work, but also during the needs assessment that defines the work in the first place. Put differently, we do not only want to respond to the specific interests of users, but rather we want to respond to the questions as they themselves have formulated them.

This principle takes shape in specific needs assessments that seek to identify different interested groups from the beginning of a project, and then in producing different documents to meet specific and diverse interests. This is also manifested in the effort to do more than post single-format publications on our website: rather, we try to share ideas in different ways and in different formats. It also means building needs assessment mechanisms such as surveys, user meetings, evaluation questionnaires after workshops, and interactive tools as ongoing elements in our work.

We are now undertaking a deeper evaluation of the use of our work and its impact. This will become a bi-annual part of our program. Our goal is to go beyond merely contacting those who use our work but rather to engage in an ongoing conversation

A centre focusing on knowledge sharing
Diffusing or sharing knowledge about public health with policy-makers in other sectors is essential to developing healthy public policies. It is also necessary that these policy-makers want to and can use this knowledge. The Centre has published different work on the variable nature of “evidence” and on the differing ways in which it is understood. Click to access Evidence and Healthy Public Policy, or What is Evidence: a philosophical perspective.

In the area of public policy, we must add in other kinds of evidence suited to policy-makers who must sometimes juggle validated scientific findings in competition with other demands such as a proposed measure's acceptability, pressure from interest groups, the imperatives of administrative deadlines, and so on.

Photo Credits:
© Wojciech Gajda
For information about how to legally obtain these images,
click here.

We would like to hear from you
Please send us a note to share your comments on our work, or to let us know about potential projects, ideas, interests, or new resources relating to healthy public policy. Send us an email at

The production of the NCCHPP website has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada.