Accessing the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools' (NCCMT) capacity-building resources remotely: supporting the development of evidence-informed practice skills in low resource settings

Tags: Oral
Howarth C1, Read K1, Dobbins M1
1National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools

Background: access to the internet varies widely across the world. In response to user feedback highlighting limited internet connectivity as a barrier to accessing the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools’ (NCCMT) online education and training resources, the NCCMT worked to adapt our suite of online resources for offline use, allowing users with limited to no internet connectivity to access resources for evidence-informed public health (EIPH).   

Objectives: the objective of this work is to increase the accessibility of the NCCMT’s online resources within Canada and internationally.

Methods: the NCCMT consulted with Canadian community partners to ensure product compatibility with existing operating systems and worked with a web developer to adapt the website for offline use. Internal testing was conducted to ensure that all features of the offline website were functional.

Results: the suite of NCCMT online resources is now available on a USB stick and most components of the website can be accessed offline. The USB includes access to the following resources, among others:

- 13 online learning modules developed to support the EIPH process;

- evidence-informed decision making (EIDM) skills assessment tool - a multiple-choice quiz developed to test EIDM knowledge and skills;

- Understanding Research Evidence videos - short, plain-language videos explaining important terms that you are likely to encounter when looking at research evidence.

The USB will be available to individuals and organizations by request at no cost to the recipient. The NCCMT has sent the USBs to organizations in Canada’s north, and is also working to provide the offline version of the website to public health practitioners in low- and middle-income countries.      

Conclusions: providing access to the NCCMT’s resources in an offline format increases the accessibility of training and capacity development opportunities for EIPH in public health settings with limited internet connectivity.      

Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: the NCCMT consulted with community partners in the development of the offline USB, to ensure that it would match technical requirements of individuals in rural and remote areas in Canada. We are also working with a group that offers training to public health practitioners to disseminate our offline website in low- and middle-income countries free of charge.