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Bridging the gap between science and policy at the agri-food and public health interface through a knowledge synthesis, transfer and exchange handbook

Date and Location




Sunday 22 September 2013 - 13:30 - 15:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Ian Young

Contact person

Ian Young
Abstract text
Background: Several knowledge synthesis, transfer and exchange (KSTE) resources, guidelines and toolkits have been developed, primarily in the context of the healthcare, health services, and broader public health sectors. However, there is currently no guidance about how to conduct these methods in the agri-food public health sector, which we denote as a field of activity characterized by the overlap of veterinary public health, food safety and “One Health”. Objectives: We developed a comprehensive KSTE Handbook to serve as a guide for science and policy professionals working at the agri-food and public health interface. Methods: We conducted a mixed-method systematic review of the global literature to identify key recommended principles and methods to support KSTE initiatives. Results from the review were used as a foundation to develop the Handbook. The first edition of the Handbook was piloted as part of an interactive training workshop in Guelph, Canada, on March 7, 2013, with 50 science and policy professionals from provincial and federal agri-food public health government departments and other agencies. Results: The Handbook provides detailed guidance for key KSTE methods and practices and their applicability to the agri-food public health context. Throughout each chapter, unique and illustrative examples, case studies and insights are provided. Each chapter also includes practical exercises to apply the methods and concepts on a real-world agri-food public health issue and key methodological references that are applicable across sectors. Conclusions: We believe that the Handbook will help to raise awareness and serve as a key resource about KSTE among science and policy professionals working in the agri-food public health sector and other related fields about how to ensure that relevant and credible research is generated and utilized to inform decision-making in times of increasingly scarce resources and when the value and utility of this knowledge is increasingly recognized.