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Benchmarking change

The quest for excellence within social programs relies on knowing what excellence means and how programs compare against others. Benchmarks can enable us to compare one program to another if we have quality comparators and an evaluation culture to generate them – something we currently lack.  A benchmark is something used by surveyors to provide a […]

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The Ecology of Innovation: Part 2 – Language

Although Innovation is about producing value through doing something new or different than before, the concept is far from simple when applied in practice by individuals and institutions. This second in a series of articles on innovation ecology looks at the way we speak of innovation and how what we talk about new ideas and […]

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The Power, Peril and Promise of Health Journalism

The Toronto Star, Canada’s most widely read newspaper known for its investigative reporting gifted anti-vaccination audiences armament by using poor science to point to a spurious connection between an HPV vaccine and illness. The issue points to journalism’s power to shape the discourse of health issues and it points to the power, promise and peril associated […]

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Bullying, the market for education and the damaged quest for learning

A recent study found looked into the experience of cyberbullying by university professors at the hands of their students. This disturbing phenomenon points to much larger issues beyond mental health promotion and calls into question many of the assumptions we have about the systems we’ve designed to foster education and what it means to be a […]

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Bringing Design into Developmental Evaluation

Developmental evaluation is an approach to understanding and shaping programs in service of those who wish to grow and evolve what is done in congruence with complexity rather than ignoring it. This requires not only feedback (evaluation), but skills in using that feedback to shape the program (design) for without both, we may end up […]

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Shaking the System of Knowledge Translation and Journalism

Leveraging systems change comes when you are willing to examine the system itself, not just the component parts. News media is struggling to remain financially viable in a time when readership / viewership is high and revenues low by considering ways to adapt to an online world and the way it thinks about the problem […]

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Design (re)Thinking Health Systems

How might we design health systems to promote health and wellbeing and not just treat illness and disease and manage infirmary and chronic conditions? What if health systems were about health? If we were to apply design thinking to health systems, what might be do? In a previous post, I suggested that knowledge translation is […]

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Is Knowledge Translation In Health Too Important to Leave to Health Professionals?

Knowledge translation — and its affiliated terms knowledge exchange, knowledge integration and knowledge mobilization — was coined to describe a process of taking what is known into what is done in health across the spectrum of science, practice, policy and  the public’s health. As health issues become more complex due to the intertwining of demographics, […]

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Social Media For Researchers

Social Media For Researchers I recently sat down and chatted with Armine Yalnizyan, a journalist and board member of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Public and Population Health (IPPH) to chat about social media for the IPPH about how social tools can assist researchers to do their work, share their learnings, […]

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The Quality Metric in Education

What is quality when we speak of learning? In this third post in series on education and evaluation metrics the issue of quality is within graduate and professional education is explored with more questions than answers about the very nature of learning itself. But what does learning really mean and do we set the system up […]

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