Knowledge User Engagement

InformationThere is no one size-fits-all approach to engaging knowledge users in your research or knowledge mobilization activities.


Follow the key principles of engagement:

  • The engagement should be purposeful for you and the knowledge users (Purposeful);
  • You should identify relevant knowledge users and make it easy for them to engage with you (Inclusive);
  • Knowledge users should be involved from the start and they must agree on when and how to engage (Timely);
  • The expectations from the engagement should be clear, open and honest (Transparent); and
  • The expertise, perspective and needs of the knowledge users should be acknowledged and respected (Respectful).


Follow these key steps for knowledge user engagement:

  • Think strategically about identifying the most relevant knowledge users;
  • Learn about the knowledge users and set objectives according to their expected level of engagement;
  • Build knowledge users’ capacity to engage;
  • Identify the most effective engagement approach according to the level of engagement and design the process;
  • Evaluate and report on outcomes from the engagement; and
  • Review and learn from the process.


Choose engagement activities according to the levels of engagement expected from the knowledge users:

  • Inform: one-way communication;
  • Consult: gain information and feedback from knowledge users;
  • Involve: knowledge users are involved throughout the process and learning takes place on both sides;
  • Collaborate: partner with knowledge users in the development of common agreed upon solutions and joint plan of action. Knowledge users work together to take action;
  • Empower: knowledge users are responsible for decision-making and are equipped to contribute to the achievement of outcomes.


Examples of knowledge user engagement

Integrate Knowledge Translation Casebook - Integrated Knowledge Translation Research Network

Learn more about how to engage with knowledge users

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