The Alberta Healthy Communities Approach uses, and encourages communities to use, the best available evidence from research, context and experience in defining and implementing effective strategies for building healthy environments.1

Evidence informed decision making entails integrating best available evidence within the context of those who will be affected.3 Being well-informed, and up-to-date, as well as using participatory research methods serves communities best.2

Canadian Best Practices Portal

Comprehensive evidence base decision making information, public health topics, policy issues and more


Resources, tools and examples to help you measure and describe your program's impact without having to become an economist

Health Evidence

Helping public health and policy makers search form interpret and apply research evidence to their local context

Evaluation Capacity Network

Recognizing the value of evaluation in early childhood development; broad resources and links

Community participatory research

To engage in community research you do not need to have elaborate research training and skills. Here’s what it takes:

  • Being good at talking with people and building relationships
  • Knowing how to work within a team
  • Good organizational skills, note taking and ability to collate information

Community participatory research means doing research with the community rather than on a community. The basic tasks are: 1) to uncover or produce information and knowledge that will be directly useful to the community, 2) enlighten and empower the members of the group or community by motivating them to take up and use the information that is gathered.
The goal is to answer any questions you may have about your community.  Depending on your questions, you might need to interview community members, observe and document what is going on in the community, or resort to the library or other places where documents are kept (i.e., archival data). With your information at hand, it’s time to analyze it.
Summarize information on summary charts or tally sheets –looking for important themes, and/or surprises. Once your team has thoroughly digested it, share your findings,  insights and solutions with others.

  1. National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. (2016). Evidence-informed public health.
  2. Patterson-Silver Wolf, D.A.; Dulmus, C.N.; Maguin, E. (2012). "Empirically supported treatment's impact on organizational culture and climate". Research on Social Work Practice. 22 (6): 665–671.
  3. Lilienfeld SO; Ritschel LA; Lynn SJ; Cautin RL; Latzman RD (November 2013). "Why many clinical psychologists are resistant to evidence-based practice: root causes and constructive remedies". Clinical Psychology Review. 33 (7): 883–900.
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