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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Knowledge Dissemination - some Canadian gems worth mining

Over the years, Canada has been a leader in technology development for knowledge synthesis and utilization.  Some of these have become integral to the functioning of knowledge dissemination globally, others were designed for Canadian audiences. if you have not mined them for what they are worth, put on your headlamp and hard hat and go digging.  

Six  national collaborating centres in public health practice; Environmental health, Healthy public policy, Aboriginal health, Infectious diseases, Methods and tools, and Determinants of Health  - they can be accessed through a joint project website http://nccph.ca/en/home.aspx  by clicking on the centres on the map at the upper left which is not intuitively obvious.

So what about chronic diseases and surveillance?   These are the areas that PHAC has invested in internally more than the scopes of the collaborating centres. Many good resources and publications are found buried in the PHAC site.   One of which is an evidence access point on best practices in chronic disease prevention and health promotion.   Canada best practices portal - chronic diseases .  Not dissimilar from many other PHAC resources, it is a excellent resource and not sufficiently well known.

It is integrally linked to HealthEvidence.ca and provides a different search engine to extract evidence, resources and tools that can aid public health practitioners in their work.  The added value of a portal is that it is merely an access point to the primary resources which are often not easily identified. 
Go surfing on your favourite topics, the site isn’t comprehensive, but is foundational in what resources are available for access.  

As for the surveillance component, PHAC has innumerable on-line resources if you can figure out how to access and use them.   PHAC surveillance.  Link this with the public health skills development program   Skills Enhancement for Public Health which is a well subscribed and hugely successful initiative Skills enhancement page . Those interested in actually trying to find the training modules, click on the About Skllls online on the right menu (modules are about 40 hours over a 6 weeks time period).  Navigation on the page is not the easiest suggesting a great way to administratively filter by technological comfort in order to even register for the on-line training (but well worth doing). 

One last one in development is the new CPHA knowledge centre CPHA knowledge centre which just opened and may be a good source for current and developing knowledge resources.  

Good luck with your prospecting efforts.   There is gold to be found in many of these resources. 

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