Midlands Knowledge Mobilisation Community of Practice

This community of practice brings together staff with an interest in or responsibility for knowledge and evidence in their system. It provides a space to share information, ideas and resources, as well as seek advice and guidance from one another

The Knowledge Mobilisation and Evidence Network group has over 20 members. We have created a Who who’s of our network to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaborative working. We meet several times in the year to plan training and development activities. We would be interested to hear your views on what would be most useful. We are here to support evidence review and knowledge mobilisation throughout the MDSN and will be engaging in activities which aim to develop:

  • A clear, transparent and explicit knowledge base
  • Capacity to use evidence within the Midlands Decision Support Network
  • Proactive knowledge sharing
  • Awareness of knowledge gaps to inform evaluation/innovation
  • Sustainable collaborative learning


The next meeting will be held on 16th February 2023 at 2pm. The meeting will discuss:-

    • Learning Health Systems – Helen Ouithwaite
    • NIHR Rapid Reviews Services – Andrew Booth/Liddy Goyder
    • Insight to Action in Practice – Karen Bradley

If you would like to become a member, please email Alison Turner or Sharon Townsend


Project Work

MDSN training – Evidence and KM

The aim of this project is to cover information literacy training as a part of the MDSN training program offer, with a goal of improving capacity within the network.

A basic guide to searching which builds on finding evidence for decision making: a quick guide will be used as a foundation providing an overview on the first four topics.  The last two topics in this guide (decipher and synthesise) will be worked up into additional training sessions later.

The session aims to focus on the question, you’ve been given a piece of work, what now? And will cover:

  • What is evidence
  • How do I find evidence
  • What is the question
  • Where to look
  • What evidence is valid and relevant

It is hoped than on completion of the session participants will be able to understand what we mean by evidence and why it’s important, understand how to find evidence, conduct basic searching, and select relevant research for work or assignments.

In addition to basic searching, we are also offering one-hour quick information sessions on why google may not always be the best place to find evidence and fake news.

Automation in synthesis

Some of the tools used in data analytics offer the potential to improve the evidence synthesis process.  This project will review and experiment with existing tools, providing a guide to the most useful tools and how to use these effectively.

This will have two parts

  1. Desktop review: We plan to map out available tools to each stage of the evidence review process using evidence from literature.
  2. Testing: At this stage we propose to test tool(s) that have been identified from the desktop review.

We hope that by investing time in systematically exploring such technologies, we can gauge the potential to develop a more efficient process in the production of evidence reviews across the region.

Evidence analysis

Evidence analysis can provide important insights to frame problems, explore options and inform investment of resource. We are providing support to the analytical programme and will also be working with IF leads to agree a set of priorities for evidence analysis for the remainder of this year and looking ahead to 2023-24.

Regional repository

The MDSN website includes a basic knowledge library to share key MDSN outputs.  However, as the network grows, we’re exploring options to make it easier for decision makers to locate insights quickly and easily.  We’re liaising with colleagues around the region to develop a repository which provides a systematic approach to managing and sharing content.  A repository will make it easier to find insights by indexing our content and making sure it is available through open access protocols (with the functionality to limit access for sensitive publications).


The evidence and knowledge team at the Strategy Unit specialise in rapid analysis of the latest evidence from research and knowledge from practice.

The team are expert searchers, familiar with diverse sources of evidence and knowledge, and experienced at translating evidence to your specific context to inform your decisions.

The lead for evidence and knowledge at the Midlands Decision Support Network is Alison Turner at the Strategy Unit.

Alison has over 25 years’ experience, working in the NHS and academia. Alison leads our Evidence and Knowledge Mobilisation team, specialising in making sense of complex evidence from research and practice. She has extensive expertise in literature searching, evidence synthesis and knowledge management. Her work helps decision makers understand the implications and potential impacts of their choices. Alison is currently studying towards an MSc in Translational Health Sciences at the University of Oxford.