Last month I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the VEGA National Guidance and Implementation Committee (NGIC) meeting in Ottawa. The focus was on the guidance developed following evidence reviews in the areas of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence (CE-IPV), and discussions revolved around how to bring this information into curriculum using a trauma-and violence-informed care perspective.
There are two things in particular that I find quite exciting about the VEGA project. First, in this journey from evidence to practice tools, there is an explicit understanding that research is only one source of information. That is, while evidence about effective interventions and approaches to family violence is useful, it is not enough to inform best practice outcomes. Additional, informal knowledge is also important to ensuring practice tools are of optimal use to health and social service providers. Informal sources may include expert and experiential knowledge, or context-specific knowledge. The VEGA project is one of the first that is actively incorporating multiple sources of evidence to develop trauma-informed health promotion strategies to support victims of violence.
The second exciting aspect was the process through which these multiple sources of knowledge are being synthesized. As co-producers, NGIC members and researchers are integrating research evidence and informal knowledge to develop tailored guidance and curriculum materials for violence response and prevention. This project goes beyond consultation, as it has been uniquely designed to allow for meaningful relationship building and collaboration. The November gathering was the second face-to-face meeting among NGIC members, and it was evident by the free flowing, mindful discussions that trusting partnerships have been achieved.
Given the importance of engagement among NGIC members, we want to understand the ways in which the approach works, as well as identify any weaker elements. Through our evaluation we are collecting data to determine how NGIC members and project leads perceive the quality of their interactions, and we plan to describe the project impacts accordingly. Watch this space for further updates.
Knowledge Mobilization Lead