What is a knowledge broker?
People are both intrigued and mystified by the knowledge broker (KB) title. The first response is “What a cool job title”, quickly followed by the question “What do you do?” As a knowledge broker I act as an intermediary between those producing knowledge (researchers) and those who use this knowledge such as consumers/general public, healthcare providers, decision makers, and other researchers.
My job is to disseminate information so people know what resources are available, where to find these resources and how to use this information to make decisions about healthcare treatments. I also build relationships with organizations by bringing stakeholders together and developing networks between these groups which makes the transfer and use of this knowledge more effective.
What does a typical day look like for you?
There is a great deal of variability from day to day depending on what I am working on and who I am working with. I liaise with 26 partner organizations nationally and provincially as well as representatives from 18 regional sites located mainly at university health sciences centres across Canada. The full list of our partners can be found at http://canada.cochrane.org/partners-0 and region sites at http://canada.cochrane.org/regional-sites
Activities include preparing presenting workshops, webinars and online learning modules such as those on peer review training for dietitians. Often I collaborate with our partners on presentations and webinars such as those specifically developed by consumers and for consumers. I communicate with our partner representatives keeping them updated about Cochrane activities. In addition, I provide updates for the Cochrane Corners of six partners, which provides links to Cochrane reviews relevant to the needs of our partner organizations’ members.
Are there any projects you have been involved in you would like to share?
Consumers are often asked to speak to a variety of groups (other consumers, healthcare providers, community leaders and organizations) and wanted a standardized presentation to address what Cochrane is, what it does and how to access and use the various Cochrane resources available, yet have the flexibility to be tailored to the audience. This need sparked the development of the Consumers Standardized Knowledge Translation Presentation. It began by involving consumers in writing a workshop abstract, presenting the workshop, brainstorming content ideas, and developing the standardized presentation. This is resulting in consumers presenting up-to-date information to audiences.
What other duties do you have in your group?
My job also includes:
· Being the main point of contact for consumers who wish to know more about and become involved with Cochrane
· Informing consumer organizations and individual consumers about stipend opportunities to attend the annual Cochrane Canada Symposium
· Organizing partner teleconferences to maintain communication allowing us to continue to work together in supporting evidence-based decision making in Canada
· Introducing potential peer reviewers to relevant Cochrane groups
· Providing information at conference exhibits about where to find and how to use Cochrane resources
What is the biggest challenge you face with your work as a KB?
Time, to build and maintain active partnerships that meet the needs of our partner organizations and consumers is a priority. There is a lot of pull on time and it would be ideal to have another KB team member.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy working with people! I have gotten to know our partners, their perspectives and their needs. It is a privilege to collaborate on projects that benefit both their members and Cochrane.