Knowledge Translation & Exchange

Note: The terms knowledge translation and knowledge exchange are often used interchangeably. For ease of understanding, some distinctions are made below but please recognize that there is not a widely accepted distinction and the terms are not consistently applied in general.

Knowledge exchange is a two-way process. It implies learning together. Knowledge exchange can begin before your research question is even finalized. Engaging with people who will use the results or whose care will be impacted by the results will help to ensure that your research and evaluation resources are focused on answering the right questions in the right way. It will also help to ensure that people understand the findings and can take action on them.

Knowledge translation is the process through which data becomes information, which becomes knowledge. Data collected in a research project become actionable information through analysis, interpretation and effective communication. When information is applied to practice, we generate collective knowledge. Knowledge arising through practice then must be translated into new research through collaboration and communication.

NIOC is strongly committed to knowledge exchange and translation, find out more here.


To support knowledge exchange activities, decisions about the most effective dissemination methods should be made early on in a research or evaluation project. More traditional options include:

  • Internal presentations to managers and clinicians
  • Internal report of findings
  • Presentations at conferences
  • Journal articles
  • Presentations to relevant public/client groups
  • Research report in print and online

Innovative and creative dissemination techniques can help to reach specific groups. For example, the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey results on youth were presented in the form of a rap youtube video:

Another example  of creative dissemination arose from a research project on Aboriginal women’s recovery from drug abuse: