Knowledge Translation, Dissemination, and Utilization
Policymakers, practitioners, and consumers often search for the most up-to-date knowledge to improve lives. Effective knowledge translation requires expertise that begins with refining the questions that specific audiences need answered, and finding relevant research studies that answer those questions. The process then moves to translating evidence into user-friendly products customized for specific audiences, and providing technical support to apply the information to make individual, practitioner, and systems change.
AIR begins this process with stakeholder engagement (providers and consumers), using formative research to learn about the questions they want answered and the best way to engage, inform, and reach users. AIR then conducts systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses to find relevant research studies and other literature that answer their questions.
From a synthesis of the findings, our knowledge transfer and communication experts create online and print products including social media that communicate the results and disseminate them through traditional, web, and social media channels to specific audiences.
AIR incorporates strategies including cultural and linguistic competence, varied literacy levels, and adaptive formats for those with disabilities, to reach specific audiences. Training, technical assistance, and coaching—either online or in person—often support users in applying knowledge to make desired changes.
Highlights of AIR’s Work
AIR’s Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research is the primary knowledge translation resource funded by National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), serving other NIDILRR-funded researchers, developers, and knowledge translation brokers. Working together, these grantees promote the health and function of people with disabilities, their access to technology and full participation in community and economic life.
KTDRR supports the grantees’ efforts to aggregate and vet relevant research for their stakeholders. Specifically, the center offers a variety of training, dissemination, utilization and technical assistance activities for NIDILRR grantees to develop systematic reviews and other high-quality syntheses of research, and then to translate, promote, and measure their effective use.
The goal of the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, funded by NIDILRR, is to improve services for people with spinal cord, traumatic brain, and burn injuries. Using a knowledge translation model, MSKTC works with NIDILRR-funded grantees to ensure that research into living with these types of injuries is relevant and accessible to people with disabilities and their families, as well as researchers, practitioners, clinicians, policymakers, and advocates.
MSKTC generates research-based information resources for all stakeholders and makes them available on the MSKTC website. The project is a partnership of AIR, Inova Health System, George Mason University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the American Association of People with Disabilities.
While a growing global evidence base exists about what works in early grade reading (particularly in English), it is unclear whether similar findings can be extrapolated to the Latin America and the Caribbean region. AIR operates the USAID-funded LAC Reads Capacity Program to increase the impact, scale, and sustainability of early grade reading interventions in the region. AIR works with nine partner organizations in eight countries within the Latin America and Caribbean region to implement the project.
As a foundation for this program’s work and that of other stakeholders in the field, AIR specialists conducted a systematic evidence review on early grade reading in this region from 1995-2015 to identify development programs likely to have positive effects on early grade reading outcomes. Policymakers, researchers, educators, and funders can use this review to improve reading outcomes for young learners.