Knowledge Synthesis: How to Use Research Evidence in Support of Policy and Practice
The ever-increasing volume of research in various subject areas has become an invaluable source of information in developing and implementing sound, cost-effective policies and practices. To utilize this information, it is necessary to develop and reliably employ scientifically rigorous and transparency-assuring knowledge synthesis methods to determine whether it is credible, and potentially difference-making.
One leading method is basic knowledge management. While it is at the heart of the “evidence-based healthcare” movement, it is essentially generic and can be applied in education, business and public sector organizations.
In this workshop, participants will explore the elements critical to conceiving, planning and conducting high quality knowledge synthesis, with examples drawn from health and social sciences as well as from work-based scenarios submitted by attendees.
- Research evidence: rationale
- Knowledge synthesis—rationale and critical elements
- Meaningful question(s) and existing answer(s)
- Stakeholder/user engagement and protocol development
- Finding potential evidence and assessing its review-relevance
- Assessing the quality of each unique instance of relevant evidence
- Abstracting and organizing key characteristics of relevant evidence
- Synthesizing and critically appraising the complete body of evidence and determining/interpreting its value as knowledge
- Reporting/mobilizing findings and evaluating impact
- Professionals from public and private sector organizations looking to harness knowledge synthesis methods essential to translating research evidence into sound policy and practice.
With extensive training and experience in both the social and health sciences, Dr. Howard Schachter has played both a leadership and collaborative role, locally, nationally and internationally, as an expert practitioner of the science and art of knowledge synthesis, a generic methodology that aims to derive knowledge primarily (though not exclusively) from quantitative research evidence and for the purposes of informing policy and practice. Moreover, his greatest passion involves providing educational opportunities, training and mentorship for a wide range of professional and lay organizations and individuals, helping them to acquire the perspective and skills needed to conceive, plan, implement and assess the value of stakeholder-tailored applications of knowledge synthesis.
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