Services for Research Teams

The KM Core Team has been assembled to provide oversight, advice, and support to GWF projects for their knowledge mobilization initiatives and can provide various types of services including assistance with:

  • Planning your project or initiative to ensure mechanisms for two-way communication and participation are in place with your partners

  • Identifying different strategies to exchange knowledge and disseminate findings within your research team, with partners, and broader audiences

  • Facilitating events, committees, and meetings that bring together your research team, partners and collaborators

  • Connecting you with synergistic opportunities with other GWF research projects and potential new practitioners, water managers and decision-makers that can use your research

  • Developing decision-support products that are informed by users and designed with audiences in mind (i.e., design and delivery of virtual decision labs, participatory modelling, briefs, newsletters, etc.)

  • Providing KM training for capacity building within your team, including students and young professionals

  • Tracking and evaluating progress of your knowledge mobilization activities

  • Documenting and sharing the successes of your research impact

Research Cycle of Best Practices

The KM research cycle of best practices was adapted from the Canadian Water Network's "Knowledge Translation Challenges and Solutions Described by Researchers" (2012) by Elizabeth Shantz.

Knowledge mobilization activities are necessary throughout the research cycle, not only at the start when identifying interested end users, or at the end when delivering research products to those end users. To assist researchers in identifying key KM considerations and actions throughout the entire research process, the KM Core Team has developed step-wise flowcharts following the research cycle.

Identifying and connecting with partners (institutions and organizations with direct research involvement), collaborators (individuals with direct research involvement), end-users (any recipient of outputs and findings without an active role in research activities) and stakeholders (any individuals or groups affected by the outputs and findings) involves:

  • Determining relevant and interested parties
  • Building relationships using a proactive and multifaceted approach
  • Maintaining and expanding relationships
  • Analyzing project resourcing and team structure
  • Continuously and collaboratively tracking and reflecting throughout processes

Co-development, design and planning of the research project involves:

  • Creating a common understanding
  • Jointly establishing interests and priorities
  • Jointly establishing the project scope and methodology
  • Jointly establishing measures of success
  • Workplan packaging

Project management and reporting involves:

  • Maintaining engagement efforts throughout the research cycle
  • Creating mechanisms for interpretation, reporting, and adaptive management
  • Documenting processes to ensure engagements are effective and archived for future reference
  • Creating opportunities for multimedia content creation throughout the project

Interpreting and communicating findings involves:  

  • Identifying strategies for transferring information to partners, collaborators, end users, and stakeholders
  • Hosting workshops and seminars with, or for, individuals and groups
  • Creating appropriate publications for different purposes

Evaluating throughout the research project involves:

  • Determining process-based, project-level indicators and outcomes-based, product-level indicators
  • Measuring indicators
  • Jointly evaluating practical and scientific impact
  • Listening to feedback and acting on it

KM Toolkit

The Knowledge Mobilization Resource Toolkit provides an easy-to-understand approach to the common methods, tools, and techniques often used in Knowledge Management (KM). These tools explain KM concepts and help faculty, young professionals and staff associated with Global Water Futures undertake KM within research projects. This toolkit is designed to support you in finding, using, creating, managing and sharing knowledge to support improvement in policies, practices and plans by:

  • Introducing the value of KM and what support is available from the GWF KM Team
  • Providing a portfolio of KM tools, techniques and resources you can easily apply in your everyday work
  • Providing approaches to research that support KM

These resources provide tools and techniques for creating a knowledge mobilization plan which can be used by faculty and HQP to help deliver on KM commitments as part of their research.  

  • Download workshop slide deck 
  • Download guidebook - step-by-step process to help think through critical steps in effectively mobilizing knowledge for different objectives - from organizing a workshop to designing an infographic poster to executing a social media campaign. At the end of the worksheet you will have the key elements for engaging different audiences and partners and all the necessary components of a KM Plan for your next project.
  • Download tipsheet - This document lists engagement strategies, tools and tips according to the objective of the activity
  • See archived webinar and slide deck on developing an effective KM Plan

Plain language writing is an important skill to communicate complex scientific processes and results to end users. This resource includes useful writing tips and fresh points of view on writing in a simple and clear way that resonates with your audience.

Posters are often used as communication tools in conferences and meetings. These resources provide tips and advice on how to create posters and visualizations that help communicate the value and impact of research to a broad audience. 

The Covid pandemic has resulted in many organizations needing to adapt to new rules around social distancing and learn to work remotely. Many knowledge mobilization strategies rely on bringing people together through events such as workshops and in-person meetings. To help researchers adapt their knowledge mobilization plans, this tipsheet offers some ideas for types of activities that can replace in-person options while still achieving the objectives of knowledge mobilization. 

Researchers are often asked to prepare lightning talks for conferences or meetings. Elevator pitches are also useful to have prepared when you only have a couple of minutes to explain your research. These resources can help you perfect your skill at quickly and simply explaining your research to any audience. 

Storytelling is quite simply the use of stories in organisations as a communication tool to share knowledge. Traditionally, organisational communications have had a tendency to be somewhat dry and lacking in inspiration. Storytelling uses a range of techniques to engage, involve and inspire people, using language that is more authentic (everyday language as opposed to ‘textbook buzzword speak’) and a narrative form that people find interesting and fun. Storytelling has of course existed for thousands of years as a means of exchanging information and generating understanding. However, as a deliberate tool for sharing knowledge within organisations it is quite recent but growing very rapidly, to the extent that it is becoming a favoured technique for engaging with a diverse digital audience.

Indigenous Peoples are rights holders, important users and producers of science, and key partners in GWF. GWF aims to support and promote water research by and with Indigenous Peoples, and to recognize the value of Indigenous perspectives and knowledge systems in building water security for current and future generations. These resources can guide ethical practices when conducting research or working with Indigenous Peoples.