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Multistakeholder Networks and Evidence-Informed Practice in Education: A Case from Ontario

Stephen MacGregor (Queen’s Unviersity Belfast, UK)
Amanda Cooper (Queen’s Unviersity Belfast, UK)

The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education

ISBN: 978-1-80043-142-3, eISBN: 978-1-80043-141-6

Publication date: 31 January 2022


In this chapter, we discuss the case of the Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research (KNAER) to illustrate the context for evidence-informed practice (EIP) in Ontario, Canada. KNAER ( is an initiative to strengthen relationships between research producers, users, and the communities that schools serve to improve outcomes for students in four priority areas: mathematics, equity, well-being, and Indigenous knowledge. As developmental evaluators for KNAER from 2017 to 2019, we reference and integrate two main sources of data: a research model created to inform the network's planning and activities, and semistructured interviews with network leaders (N = 11) and policymakers (N = 3). Reflecting on our findings, we discuss five key lessons for EIP: the need to build reciprocal streets of engagement, the need to shift data use from accountability and compliance to partnership learning, the need to coproduce and identify specific entry points of change, the need to focus on capacity building and leveraging brokers across partnerships, and the need to use communication as a problem-solving tool to assess and adjust innovations and implementation rather than passive reports of activities.



MacGregor, S. and Cooper, A. (2022), "Multistakeholder Networks and Evidence-Informed Practice in Education: A Case from Ontario", Brown, C. and Malin, J.R. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 83-96.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Stephen MacGregor and Amanda Cooper. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited