The ability to effectively mine existing knowledge to answer key questions is a valuable tool for those making policy or practice decisions.
Our skilled team of knowledge synthesis specialists are adept at locating, evaluating and synthesising information. And we focus on presenting results to you in a meaningful and usable way.
In doing this work, we draw on research evidence. But we also recognise there can be many valuable ways to find information, depending on the question being asked. And so, we also look beyond research to other knowledge sources such as government reports, frameworks and practice guides.
A range of questions
We know the questions from our clients can be many and varied. For example, some organisations need answers on what the evidence says about delivering interventions or initiatives for children and families that improve outcomes. Others might want to know – what are the common elements that programs and services share? Or what has already been tried in policy and practice – and what can we learn from it?
Given what we know about the many different research questions and organisational needs, we adapt our work to suit. This flexibility is important to the people we work with, as well as being important to us.
Knowledge synthesis is often an important foundational activity for agencies who work with us. It sets the scene and informs other work we may do together – such as in the area of practice design. Equally, it can stand alone as a distinct piece of work that you can integrate into your other activities.
Regardless of how you use our knowledge synthesis expertise, we keep our approach consistent. And we use use rigorous, replicable and transparent methods to collect, appraise, aggregate and analyse knowledge. This means you can have confidence in our findings.
Our approach can include one or more of the following key activities:
- Systematic review: the most stringent and comprehensive synthesis of the evidence
- Rapid evidence assessment: a rigorous evidence assessment in a shorter time frame – useful when timelines are tight
- Scoping review: a rigorous method to create a map of the broad picture of interventions, practices, frameworks or policies – useful in under-researched areas or when questions of effectiveness aren’t essential.
- Browse some of our evidence reviews
- Read about our synthesis work in the field of family violence
- Read the evidence review on Australian parenting interventions
- Examine the knowledge synthesis work we did for the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse: Review on previous inquiry recommendations, a review of pre-employment screening practices and effectiveness of out-of-home care practices