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Table 2 Summary of results

From: Knowledge mobilisation in practice: an evaluation of the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre

Knowledge mobilisation strategiesKey governance and implementation strategiesStrengths and achievementsStakeholders’ perceptions of benefitsChallenges and potential areas for improvement
1. Partnerships• Involve partners in planning and governance
• Require partners to commit resources so they have ‘skin in the game’
• Leverage existing cross-sector relationships to establish project teams, reach potential partners and create a networked platform
• Connect with new partners and support current relationships
• Considerable growth in investigator team and partner organisations
• Increased funding and resources from partners and government
• Perception that skills are used effectively in the partnership and that the Centre’s benefits outweigh its costs
• Most interviewed policy-makers and funders regard the Centre’s work as useful, innovative and important
• Policy-makers valued opportunities to shape research, access resources and forge connections within a collaborative network
• Researchers valued linkage with (and more likely impact on) policy
• Partnership governance could be more transparent
• Greater awareness of conflict resolution options needed
• Some policy-makers found it hard to attend forums or to be ‘heard’ at them
• Some uncertainty across stakeholders about how to tap into the Centre’s network
2. Engagement• Funding teams of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to work together
• Interactive and networking forums for researchers, policy-makers and funders
• Strategic communications, e.g. website, newsletters, narrative reports, policy/practice-friendly research summaries
• Co-ordination and administrative support to link projects, manage funding and partnership agreements, and act as contacts for queries
• Partners see value in committing their time to the Centre and believe their abilities are being used effectively
• Partners are getting the information needed to stay abreast of developments and opportunities, and to contribute meaningfully to the Centre
• Most partners feel the Centre has a clear vision
• Access to high quality resources that are relevant and applicable to policy work
• Awareness of Centre developments and opportunities
• Engagement with systems science and other innovations
• Access to online networked events and practice groups, and mentoring by Centre staff
• It has been hard to create a shared vision for all partners
• Stakeholders can struggle to identify relevant projects or get involved in projects
• Geographic distance from metropolitan areas and the coordination hub is a barrier
• Belief that the partnership is achieving more than partners could do alone has decreased
3. Capacity and skills• Dedicated capacity-building staff develop resources, run events and provide mentoring
• Expert-run workshops and webinars
• Cross-project forums and networks, including a community of practice in applied systems thinking
• Investment in early-career researcher development (scholarships, postdoctoral fellowships and funding to attend conferences)
• Cross-sector placements
• Capacity-building activities are frequent, varied, well-attended and well-received (e.g. perceived as useful and a good use of participants’ time)
• High levels of reported satisfaction with the Centre’s communications, resources and capacity-building activities
• Access to national and international experts
• Development and application of new knowledge and skills, e.g. in ‘real word’ research methods and systems approaches
• Better understanding of the research-policy interface
• Access to educational resources
• Cross-sector placements are hard to secure, often due to incompatible organisational requirements
4. Co-production• Encourage cross-sector investigator project teams
• Shape projects and collaborative opportunities around partners’ developing agendas
• Host roundtable events and exchanges between researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to foster collective work and debate
• Multiple projects are engaged in cross-sector co-production
• Many policy-makers are involved with different levels of seniority participating in different ways
• Most policy-makers report examples of genuine co-production in which they saw themselves as full partners
• Partners identify innovations arising from co-production
• Co-production allows partners to shape project directions (especially via shared priority-setting), gain access to expertise and resources, increase mutual learning and share ideas
• Dramatically improved research relevance
• Translation of research to policy is ‘built-in’
• Involvement in priority-setting justifies policy-makers’ time commitments
• Projects are less attuned to the needs of non-funding policy-makers as they are less involved in co-production
• Different views of co-production: is it shared decision-making or generating research questions collectively or co-conducting research?
• Greater facilitation of shared decision-making and problem-solving may be warranted
• Co-production challenged by personalities, competing time frames and its own logistics
5. Knowledge integration• Discussion forums to create linkages and synergies across current and future projects
• Resourcing for high quality strategic evidence synthesis and communication
• Dedicated roles and tasks regarding forging project connections, synthesising research findings and sharing knowledge
• To some extent, discussion forums are facilitating linkage and information-sharing• In some cases, there are synergies across multiple projects• More work is needed to create linkage, consolidate findings from separate projects and forge a coherent prevention narrative
6. Adaptive learning and improvement• Evaluation: surveys, social network analyses, stakeholder interviews, process measures, key performance indicators and events feedback
• Collate formal and incidental feedback in a register
• Distribute evaluation results and discuss in Centre forums to ‘close the loop’ and enable action
• Build reflection into the Centre’s quarterly reporting procedures
• There is some evidence of the Centre’s adaptivity and increasing flexibility• In some cases, a dynamic and policy-responsive work plan• More use could be made of evaluation information
• Greater transparency at the executive level could help partners to see what information is considered and how it is acted on