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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 104, Issue 2, pp e173–e176 | Cite as

“The Magic Is in the Mix”: Lessons From Research Capacity Building in the Canadian Tobacco Control Community, 2000–2010

  • Barbara L. RileyEmail author
  • Sarah M. Viehbeck
  • Joanna E. Cohen
  • Marie C. Chia
Commentary

Abstract

Global public health issues, including tobacco use, will be addressed most effectively if informed by relevant evidence. Additional capacity is needed to undertake and sustain relevant and rigorous research that will inform and enable learning from interventions. Despite the undisputed importance of research capacity building (RCB), there is little evidence about how to create relevant capacities. RCB for tobacco control in Canada from 2000–2010 offers a rich experience from which to learn. Lessons were derived using structured data collection from seven capacity-building initiatives and an invitational workshop, at which reflections on major contributions and lessons learned were discussed by initiative leads. Ten years of RCB for tobacco control in Canada revealed the importance of a) taking an organic approach to RCB, b) targeting and sustaining investments in a mix of RCB activities, c) vision and collaborative leadership at organizational and initiative levels, d) a focus on building community, and e) studying capacity building. The experience also provided tangible examples of RCB initiatives and how independent investments can be linked to create a coherent approach. Looking ahead, promising directions may include positioning RCB within a broader context of “field building”, focusing on practical approaches to sustainability, and enhancing research on RCB.

Key Words

Tobacco capacity building research personnel interdisciplinary communication training support 

Résumé

Les interventions les plus efficaces contre les problèmes de santé publique mondiaux, dont le tabagisme, s’appuient sur des preuves pertinentes. Or, il faut des capacités supplémentaires pour entreprendre et soutenir des études rigoureuses qui éclairent les interventions et qui permettent d’en tirer des leçons. Personne ne doute de l’importance du renforcement de la capacité de recherche (RCR), mais il existe peu de données sur la manière de créer les capacités appropriées. Le RCR sur la lutte antitabac au Canada de 2000 à 2010 est une expérience riche d’enseignements à cet égard. Nous en avons tiré des leçons en recueillant des données structurées à partir de sept initiatives de renforcement des capacités et en donnant un atelier sur invitation, durant lequel les dirigeants des initiatives ont discuté des apports clés et des leçons apprises. Dix ans de RCR sur la lutte antitabac au Canada ont révélé l’importance: a) d’adopter une approche organique à l’égard du RCR, b) d’investir de façon ciblée et soutenue dans un mélange d’activités de RCR, c) d’avoir une vision et d’exercer un leadership concertés à l’échelle organisationnelle et à l’échelle des initiatives, d) de mettre l’accent sur le renforcement des communautés et e) d’étudier le renforcement des capacités. L’expérience a aussi fourni des exemples concrets d’initiatives de RCR et des moyens de relier des investissements indépendants pour créer une démarche cohérente. Pour l’avenir, les orientations prometteuses incluent le positionnement du RCR dans le contexte plus large de la « constitution de champs de recherche », l’accent sur les démarches pratiques de durabilité, et l’amélioration de la recherche sur le RCR.

Mots Clés

tabac renforcement des capacités personnel de recherche communication interdisciplinaire soutien à la formation 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara L. Riley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah M. Viehbeck
    • 2
  • Joanna E. Cohen
    • 3
  • Marie C. Chia
    • 4
  1. 1.Propel Centre for Population Health ImpactUniversity of Waterloo, Lyle Hallman Institute NorthWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.University of OttawaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Institute for Global Tobacco ControlJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreCanada
  4. 4.Public Health Agency of CanadaOttawaCanada

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