Knowledge Exchange (KE) has been defined in various ways and CHR understanding is similar to the Canadian Concept of Knowledge Mobilisation, which aims to make research “ready for service or action.” According to the Economic Social Research Council, KE is “a two-way process where social scientists and individuals or organisations share learning, ideas and experiences.” With these objectives in mind, CHR supports collaboration between academics, policy makers and practitioners, as well as the co-production of research across academic schools. CHR puts Knowledge Exchange at the heart of its practice. This is centered on a belief that research best serves its users when they are known to researchers and on-going dialogue helps to make research findings accessible and useful. CHR staff regularly attend academic and non-academic events where their research can be discussed - and inform debate.
Events open to the general public are held at the Centre on a regular basis to promote discussion and sharing of research with policy makers and practitioners. By building connections across the academic, government, business and non-profit sectors, CHR is better informed and better prepared to ask research questions that meet on-going needs of these groups and therefore build successful pathways to impact. Our events have been frequent and diverse; since March 2011, the following events have been held: the New Demographics and the Housing System, The Social Dynamics of Neighbourhoods, Investing in Better Places- International Perspectives on Place Making, Neighbourhood Effects, Neighbourhood Based Problems and International Policy Solutions. CHR also held an event in conjunction with the Smith Institute at the House of Lords to launch CHR’s new book, Investing in Better Places, a series of essays on place making edited by Sharon Chisholm.
CHR’s renewed website is regularly updated with our latest events, news and research activities. Periodic blogs are undertaken to engage non-academics with current research. Since its inception, CHR has built up a vast database which continues to provide a wealth of material for analysis. Our e-newsletter, CHR Byte Size, provides easy access to the news of the Centre and invites viewers to choose the stories which are of interest to them. It is currently received by close to 2000 subscribers from a broad range of sectors, disciplines and places.
CHR encourages collaboration with groups outside academia and is currently working on an international project which will involve collaboration between social housing practitioners from a number of countries. Each country will review and re-examine their relevant body of research and those of the other partners and will do so in 3-4 thematic areas. CHR aims to create a rich dialogue among experienced housing leaders. Together the partners will identify patterns, gain insights and co-produce new knowledge based on the existing research and their vast experience.
While these methods of exchange and mobilisation are in play now, the Centre is open to trying different methods of engaging others in its work, i.e.; podcasts, on line learning, Telefora. CHR believes that a dynamic culture supports new and interesting ways of opening dialogue and enhances the Centre’s ability to be relevant and useful.