Evaluative research

The CoPEH-Canada team is conducting a research and evaluation program to examine the development of social networks and the educational and capacity building outcomes of the community of practice. CoPEH-Canada provides a platform to share and consolidate our collective experiences and foster further collaboration among Canadian researchers and practitioners as we continue to learn, innovate and develop knowledge and skills.

Our latest:

Transformative learning for a sustainable and healthy future through ecosystem approaches to health : Insights from 15 years of co-designed ecohealth teaching and learning experiences.
Webb, J., Raez-Villanueva, S., Carrière, P. D., Beauchamp, A.-A., Bell, I., Day, A., Elton, S., Feagan, M., Giacinti, J., Kabemba Lukusa, J. P., Kingsbury, C., Torres-Slimming, P. A., Bunch, M., Clow, K., Gislason, M. K., Parkes, M. W., Jane Parmley, E., Poland, B., & Vaillancourt, C. (2023).  The Lancet Planetary Health, 7(1), e86‑e96. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(22)00305-9
Penned by 19 co-authors, including 11 alumni of CoPEH-Canada's training, and published January 4th 2023 in the Lancet Planetary Health, Transformative learning for a sustainable and healthy future through ecosystem approaches to health: insights from 15 years of co-designed ecohealth teaching and learning experiences discusses CoPEH-Canada's pedagogical leanings.

Publications from first phase of evaluative research

This first period of research (2008-2012) highlighted a need for a new phase of consolidation and development of the community of practice to ensure long-term development and capacity in ecohealth in Canada and beyond. This included evaluation of our short course, contributing to its improvement, and exploration of the network of relationships in CoPEH-Canada. An example of the course evaluation questionnaire can be found here.

Strengthening collaborative capacity: experiences from a short, intensive field course on ecosystems, health and society

Parkes MW, Saint-Charles J, Cole DC, Gislason M, Hicks E, Le Bourdais C, et al. 2016. Higher Education Research & Development:1-16.

This quote-rich research article analyses three years (2008-2010) of student feedback on the CoPEH-Canada course. Findings highlight the importance of diversity (of background and language), relationships among students and the teaching team, and complexity in the teaching methods (reflecting the complexity of reality).

The second phase of research has been linked with two projects. The first was a 3-year project entitled “Linking public health, ecosystems and equity through ecohealth training and capacity building,” funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, which aimed to provide training to improve practitioner's and resercher's ability to identify, communicate and manage multiple social and ecological determinants of health related in an integrated way, specifically in relation to the core competencies of the Public Health Agency of Canada. The second project was conducted in collaboration with the Comunidad de Práctica sobre el Enfoque Ecosistémico en Salud Humana en América Latina y el Caribe (CoPEH LAC), and aimed to evaluate the development of the CoPEH-Canada network and its implications for research, education, practice and policy in ecosystem approaches to health. 

Evolution of capacity strengthening: insights from the Canadian Community of Practice in Ecosystem Approaches to Health
Cole, D. C., M. W. Parkes, J. Saint-Charles, M. Gislason, K. McKellar and J. Webb (2018). Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal 11(2).

We describe a Community of Practice focused on capacity strengthening across higher education institutions in the complex field of ecosystem approaches to health. Incubated through the co-design of a Canada-wide intensive face-to-face course, the Community of Practice generated a teaching manual with flexible formats to extend our reach to other academic faculty and practitioners. We describe how the development of collaborations (process) has been dynamically linked with learning about ecosystem approaches to health (content domain) in ways congruent with the field’s complexity. We argue that cross-university, grounded Communities of Practice are particularly appropriate for transdisciplinary educational initiatives tackling the daunting socio-ecological problems, and the associated health and sustainability challenges, currently facing humanity.

Our research continues to focus on the interrelated themes of collaborative relationships and capacity building, and their contributions to the emerging field of ecohealth. For a selection of our member's climate- and education related research publications see here

For more information about our Research and Evaluation program objectives, methods, activities and publications, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.