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

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

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Bev Holmes InSource 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 Best InSource Research Group, and Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Canada

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Bev Holmes InSource Research Group, and Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada

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Evidence & Policy
A journal of research, debate and practice