ONS Receives Community Foundation Grant

January 17, 2017

The Ottawa Neighbourhood Study has received a One-Year Grant from the Community Foundation of Ottawa under their Community Grants Program. The funds will be used to strengthen the already strong partnership between our team of researchers and knowledge users by developing opportunities for community engagement, knowledge exchange, dialogue and reciprocity. Over the coming months we propose to register data users, develop an online community forum, and host a public forum in partnership with key stakeholders.

ONS was originally funded by research grants (CIHR, PHIRN). United Way/Centraide Ottawa provides core funding for continued data curation, collection and analysis. IBM Canada provided grant and in-kind support to develop this interactive website as a knowledge translation tool. Our database is sustainable; new indicators are added, existing indicators are updated. Although underfunded, further development and maintenance of this website is part of our core operations and is central to our commitment to knowledge translation and transfer. We know, anecdotally, from a user survey and from Google Analytics, that this site is well used as a source of information; about 3,000 visits/month. However a persistent challenge has been that we cannot exchange information, dialogue, host discussions or readily collaborate with our users because we do not know who you are or how to meaningfully connect with you. Further, as a member of the Ottawa & Region Data Consortium ONS is committed to make data available only in accordance with CCSD Community Data Program’s Data Sharing and End Use License Agreement. One consequence is that although ONS is permitted to share data using our web site, data could be downloaded only by members of the Data Consortium. Without knowing first who our users are and then introducing them to the Data Consortium we will be severely constrained in our ability to develop downloadable content.

The grant support from CFO will enable ONS to fix this. This project will

• strengthen our capacity for knowledge translation and transfer (KTT)
• further support evidence-based planning by users: funding decision makers, service provider professionals (public health planners, and providers of community health, safety, security, recreation, cultural and social services), planners in public service (federal, provincial, and municipal government), and citizens (residents, community activists, business owners, etc.)
• provide opportunities for dialogue, collaboration and information sharing between and among a growing community of data users
• provide opportunities for community engagement about data literacy and “what counts” by adding new functionality to the ONS web site:
– Require that users register (name, sector, username, password) in order to access data
– Require that users associate with the Ottawa & Region Data Consortium in order to download data
– Create a moderated Online Forum to enable ONS, its community partners, web site users, and a growing community of evidence-based planners to exchange data, information and ideas, collaborate and support one another, and contribute to community knowledge and how it can best be used to improve health and well-being in Ottawa’s neighbourhoods
– Develop a video tutorial to coach users on how to most productively interact with the site
• host a MIRL public forum in collaboration with other leaders in community knowledge development, translation and transfer (CFO Ottawa Insights, Social Planning Council, and Parent Resource Centre) at an accessible venue in Ottawa to
– Showcase the community knowledge platforms currently available in Ottawa
– Launch and promote the use of the KTT online forum by data users
– Explore opportunities for closer collaboration among KTT partners and potential for linking knowledge centres

We look forward to connecting more meaningfully with you, the users of the data and services provided by the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study.

Our thanks go to the Community Foundation of Ottawa for this funding and the opportunities that it offers to ONS.