In 2011, Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence entered into a formal partnership with the Government of Alberta to rebuild the recently released (November 2013) family violence prevention framework. Both partners agreed on the importance of ensuring that the research on which the prevention framework was based was accessible for practitioners, service providers, policy makers and system leaders throughout the province. Shift also realized that local communities would need to develop the capacity to implement the primary prevention strategies being proposed in the new provincial prevention strategy. As a result, Shift explored evidenced-informed models on knowledge translation, mobilization, and integration and (through a SSHRC Partnership grant and Canadian Women’s Foundation grant) engaged in a pilot project to test a particular Community of Practice (CoP) model in two regions in Alberta. The CoP model piloted was designed with the understanding that the best way to build community capacity for domestic violence primary prevention would be to work through the current research and support practitioners and system leaders to understand how it applies to their local context and communities. We believed this approach would support changes, not only at the individual practitioner level, but also support shifts in decision-making at the organizational, systems, and policy level.
Shift gratefully acknowledges the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Canadian Women’s Foundation for providing funding for this project. We would like to thank the participants from both regions, Northwest (Grand Prairie and Area) and Southeast (Medicine Hat/Brooks/surrounding areas) for their commitment, time and energy for trying to stop domestic violence. We would like to acknowledge and thank Kathleen Turner, Heather King, and Bev Duke, for helping to organize all the meetings and workshops. Finally, we would like to thank Elena Esina, Thom Dennett and Tara Huxley for their support during the project.