Evidence & Policy
A journal of research, debate and practice

Systems thinking, knowledge and action: towards better models and methods

Authors:
Allan BestInSource Research Group, and Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Canada

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Bev HolmesInSource Research Group, and Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada

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The way we think about how research, policy and practice inform and interact with each other shapes our efforts to improve health and social outcomes. In this paper we describe linear, relationship and systems models with regard to how they approach bridging evidence and policy/practice, or turning knowledge into action. We contribute to the knowledge to action (KTA) systems thinking discussion by highlighting four interconnected aspects of this model we believe merit exploration: evidence and knowledge, leadership, networks and communications. We conclude with the challenge of developing measurement methods for systems research to better understand the KTA process.

Allan BestInSource Research Group, and Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Canada

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and
Bev HolmesInSource Research Group, and Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada

Search for other papers by Bev Holmes in
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