Supporting the COVID-19 Response and Recovery with Evidence: Importance of Timely Knowledge Translation
National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health
The global pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the start of 2020 sparked intensive international efforts to bring a rapidly spreading infectious virus under control. Much urgency and uncertainty emerged given the unprecedented scale and pace of this pandemic, which then spurred rapid courses of action. An exponentially growing body of information created significant challenges for public health professionals, organizations, and all levels of government, amplifying the need for practical, usable, and trustworthy information. As the pandemic evolved, robust scientific and synthesized information became critically needed for public health decision making, as well as to combat prevalent misinformation circulated through popular and social media. This presentation will describe how from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (and under an accelerated time frame), the NCCEH carried out its mandate of: (i) knowledge synthesis and translation (KT) to make research applicable to practice; (ii) identification of critical knowledge gaps surrounding virus transmission; and (iii) capacity building through partnerships and collaborations that included communities of practice to share information. NCCEH also implemented new knowledge mobilization strategies for rapid dissemination of evidence-based information and resources to support the work of environmental public health professionals throughout the pandemic. This session will also explore how KT continues to be important and useful for looking beyond this global health emergency to tackle other public health threats associated with climate change, antimicrobial resistance, and emerging zoonotic diseases in a post-pandemic future.