Our Story

We will continue to narrate parts of the Hub’s story here, especially parts that explain our niche and approach.

Our history: It’s both short and long

The KDE Hub is a new entity with deep roots. The vision and approach for the KDE Hub originated within the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, hosted by the Faculty of Health, University of Waterloo from 1998 to 2019. Propel was a centre for engaged scholarship. It existed to improve the health of people and places in Canada and beyond, primarily by addressing underlying social, behavioural and environmental determinants of health and well-being.

Today, the KDE Hub is hosted by Renison University College, affiliated with the University of Waterloo. Renison values of social justice, equity, and diversity are aligned with the Hub’s mandate and the goals of the programs and projects supported by the KDE Hub. The KDE Hub continues to also be supported by the Faculty of Health, University of Waterloo, including through cross appointments of the Hub’s Scientific Co-Directors and opportunities for faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students.

The KDE Hub was established in 2019 with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to provide knowledge development and knowledge exchange supports to projects funded through the Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund (MHP-IF). The Hub expanded in 2022 to also support projects funded through PHAC’s Supporting the Mental Health of Those Most Affected by COVID-19 (MH COVID) initiative and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Mental Health in the Early Years (MHITEY) implementation science grants.

The KDE Hub’s core commitments

We aim to act in ways that are consistent with our beliefs and theory of change. These actions are expressed as core commitments; promises to those we serve, and guideposts for the Hub’s work. We welcome your feedback on how well we’re keeping our commitments.

1) Focus on mental health promotion for diverse groups of Canadians.

The Hub’s niche is upstream on the spectrum of mental health interventions, and relevant to all.

2) Act in ways that respect properties of complex systems.

This reflects an understanding of the complexity of the problems, approaches needed to address them, and environments, including what this understanding means for knowledge development and exchange.

3) Support existing expertise and leadership.

The Hub does not hold all expertise. Our job is to understand, support and engage existing leadership within the funded projects and others with relevant expertise and experience.

4) Honour multiple ways of knowing and doing.

The Hub embraces different ways of knowing, doing, and being that are suitable for various populations, settings, and questions. For example, many projects engage Indigenous populations with opportunities within and beyond those projects to use Indigenous wholistic frameworks and ways of knowing.

5) Ensure KDE informs decision-making and contributes to new knowledge.

The work of the Hub reflects these two main purposes of knowledge development and exchange activities.

6) Address the most relevant KDE needs using the most suitable and rigorous methods.

This is a commitment to using the most suitable and appropriately rigorous methods, without compromising relevance. What are the kinds of learnings and questions that can be asked and answered credibly within and across projects?

7) Use participatory design practices.

The Hub is guided by a commitment to participatory design for generating, sharing and applying knowledge.

8) Embrace an improvement orientation to our work.

The Hub takes a continuous ‘learn as we go’ approach with relevant data collected and fed back to inform adaptations along the way.