Evidence-informed decision making (EIDM) is important to ensure that practice is evidence-informed and resources are used efficiently and effectively. However, public health professionals can face barriers to EIDM. Knowledge Brokers can support and champion EIDM within an organization. The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT) developed a Knowledge Broker (KB) Mentoring program, a hands-on mentorship program to develop capacity for evidence-informed decision making.
The objectives of the KB Mentoring program are to build individual and organizational capacity for evidence-informed decision making. The program takes place over 20 months and includes an organizational assessment, nine face-to-face workshop days, monthly webinars, completion of a rapid review, and a period post-program to connect with mentors. Participating cohorts are evaluated qualitatively.
To date, two cohorts of five organizations each have completed the program (n = 56 participants). At the individual level, participants reported increased: confidence; EIDM knowledge and skills; and interpersonal connections. At the organizational level, the groups reported conducting rapid reviews, critically appraising evidence, and using evidence in program planning decisions. Additionally, organizations have put in place ongoing supports to build EIDM capacity. Participants noted that they would like more support both before and after the program. This recommendation was put in place for the third cohort, currently in progress.
Participants indicated the KB mentoring program was high quality and increased EIDM capacity and behaviour in their organizations. This innovative program is important across settings and countries as public health continues to face changes to public health practice. In order to scale up the program to diverse geographic settings, an online KB mentoring program is currently in development.
Knowledge Broker mentoring supports public health practitioners to use evidence in practice. Knowledge broker mentoring raises the confidence, knowledge, skills, and connections of participants.