Evidence Exchange Network: A network of networks doing KMb
Knowledge mobilization (KMb) looks a little different when it’s done across a large network. See how the Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) makes it work.
EENet is an Ontario knowledge exchange network that aims to make Ontario’s mental health and addictions system more evidence-informed. The network makes evidence easy to use and brings a range of people together – from researchers to people with lived experience – so they can share knowledge. EENet is founded on a network of networks concept, building on how stakeholders are already connected to facilitate broad, province-wide linkages.
Through its online community – EENet Connect – EENet supports discussions related to mental health and addictions. Topics include children and youth, system coordination, transitions and partnerships, lived experience and health promotion and prevention.
EENet also provides knowledge exchange support to system-level projects such as the Early Psychosis Intervention Ontario Network (EPION), the Systems Improvement through Service Collaboratives initiative (which is part of Ontario’s 10-year mental health and addictions strategy) and the Opioid Awareness Treatment and Education initiative.
Keeping the goal in mind
EENet is a broad network with a clear focus. It aims to help build capacity in mental health and addictions in Ontario by responding to knowledge gaps and ensuring practices and policies are informed by evidence. EENet also seeks to create relationships, promote mutual understanding and build capacity to find, create, share and use relevant knowledge.
How is KMb different in a network of networks?
- You can avoid duplication. EENet connects to existing networks, communities of interest and other collaborations to enhance connections in Ontario’s mental health and addictions system. It builds on the capacity of numerous stakeholders and provincial mental health and/or addictions organizations.
- You can reach further. EENet has close to 3,000 stakeholders, including researchers, policymakers, service providers, system planners, knowledge translation professionals, school mental health leads, youth mental health court workers, persons with lived experience, family members and more. Although its Resource and Management Centre is located in Toronto, EENet’s regional knowledge exchange leads are spread out across the province, giving the network provincial reach.
- You can connect in multiple ways. EENet uses its website, an online community, social media, in-person events and webinars to reach out to its stakeholders and makes evidence accessible. And through its news page, EENet links stakeholders to activities relevant to their work.
EENet is supported by the EENet Management and Resource Centre, located in the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). PSSP is a program of CAMH that’s focused on supporting improvements in Ontario’s mental health and addictions system. The support from CAMH is a key facilitator of EENet’s work. In the past, EENet has also received funding from Health Canada’s Drug Treatment Funding Program.
EENet receives direction and guidance from a steering committee that represents the diverse perspectives of key stakeholders of the network, and includes both provincial and national organizations. The committee helps to ensure that the network aligns with and leverages what others are doing in the system to increase impact.
EENet is engaged in evaluating its efforts. EENet is currently developing an evaluation plan that will be used to guide all of its evaluation efforts, and will enhance current continuous quality improvement efforts such as stakeholder feedback to improve its webinars, and web analytics to track the success of its social media efforts.