With issues such as global health care, scarce resources must be used wisely. Policies and interventions must be informed by the best available knowledge. New research is needed, and there is also a need to close the “know-do gap” by more effectively applying what is already known to policy and practice. The Knowledge Translation Toolkit has been developed to help make this happen.
Researchers are the primary audience for the Toolkit, which emphasizes that the publication of research is not “job finished”, but rather, “job started”. It then details what must be done to drive the research findings forward into benefits for policy, practice and people, and how this should be done.
The Toolkit advises that in the context of evidence-to-policy, there can be only for reasons for the know-do gap:
People with the ability and authority to use good information to design their action either:
- Don’t know – that the information exists, or what action to take, or
- Don’t understand – the information, what it means, why it is important, or
- Don’t care – see the information as irrelevant, not beneficial to their agenda, or
- Don’t agree – think the information is misguided or false.
The Toolkit helps researchers to address these factors, which demands better communication. “Knowledge translation” is the process that delivers the change by helping to ensure that the target audience s left in no doubt that:
I must stop and look at this – it’s interesting
This is for my agenda – it’s relevant
I understand – it’s clear and credible
I must do something about it – it’s compelling
The Toolkit is therefore made up of:
The Concept (Section I) – closing the know-do gap: turning knowledge into action.
The Audience (Section II) – identifying who has the power to take action (policy/practice).
The Message (Section III) – packaging the knowledge appropriately for that audience.
The Medium (Section IV) – delivering the message, closing the gap, triggering the action.
The Tools (Section V) – a few more thoughts about the methods of doing all those things.
The Toolkit builds on an extensive body of knowledge translation research, and covers a wide range of important knowledge translation enablers.
Also published on Medium.