Evaluating our KT program so we can learn and improve

MSFHR undertook an evaluation of our KT program in 2018 to find out if the program was having the desired impact and to inform future KT activities. This is in keeping with our organizational commitment to be a learning organization that makes evidence-based decisions.It also adds to the academic literature on how health research funders are encouraging the process of research use through knowledge translation. The evaluation covered the KT unit’s activities from 2015 to 2018, with a focus on KT capacity-building, and to a lesser extent, KT-focused awards. The methodology consisted of a review and synthesis of monitoring data, key informant interviews and an online survey.

Findings from the evaluation indicate that stakeholders are very positive about the program’s contribution to the health research ecosystem in BC and value both the capacity-building and award components of the program. The KT program is achieving its goals of increasing awareness, knowledge and skills in KT; improving application of KT principles by researchers and research users; promoting/advocating for KT; increasing collaboration between researchers and research users; generating and disseminating new KT knowledge; and increasing the pool of KT experts in BC.

The evaluation found that our KT program is reaching priority audiences, including early career researchers, KT practitioners and grant facilitators. Other key audiences such as health professionals and research users are starting to be reached. It has been less successful in reaching established researchers, and health authority decision-makers and clinical educators.

Based on the evaluation data, areas of improvement include expanding the geographic reach of the KT program, as there is a perception among stakeholders that the program is somewhat Vancouver-centric, and improving the general awareness among stakeholders about the range of KT activities offered by MSFHR.

The evaluation also made eight recommendations for the KT program at MSFHR, including a continued focus on a suite of KT-focused awards and a suite of KT capacity-building activities, looking for opportunities to expand the footprint for KT capacity-building outside of Vancouver and continued support for MSFHR’s role as a provincial coordinating body for KT. The KT team is in the process of implementing these recommendations.

If you are interested in more detail about the evaluation and its findings, the KT Program Evaluation Report Summary is available on our website.