Hosted by the
National Collaborating Centres for Public Health

The mission of the National Collaborating Centres for Public Health is to improve access to knowledge for public health practitioners, policy makers and others in the Canadian context. The centres draw on local, regional, national and international expertise and collaborate with various organizations, including the provinces and territories, academia, and non-government organizations. They are located in different regions across the country, each one specializing in a priority area. The centres focus on requirements for (and gaps in) knowledge and research in a variety of public health sectors through partnerships with public health, academic, governmental, and non-governmental sectors, as well as with other communities of practice. Additionally, the centres work as a network, responding to expressed public health needs, goals, and priorities as these evolve and change.

The six National Collaborating Centres (NCCs) are:

National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (
National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (
National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health (
National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy (
National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (
National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (

These key activities are critical to the work and success of the Centres:

• Knowledge Synthesis. The Centres synthesize existing global public health knowledge of relevance to Canada's public health needs in key areas of public health. By drawing together information from different sources in new ways, the Centres create timely, relevant and accessible material for practitioners, policy makers, and others with an interest in advancing public health.

• Identification of Knowledge Gaps. Through synthesis activities, gaps in our knowledge can be identified to show where there is insufficient evidence to inform public health programs, policies, and practices. The Centres provide an opportunity to stimulate the development of new applied research to address these gaps. The Centres may advocate for applied research initiatives (e.g., with research funding agencies) or develop linkages with others who will take the lead role.

• Knowledge Translation. The Centres promote the exchange of knowledge to help users better understand and interpret information, making it more useful for decisions about policies, programs, and practices. Given the diversity of sectors and disciplines engaged in public health in Canada, the Centres do not use a ‘one size fits all' approach. They are involved in a range of activities to address the needs of program managers, policy makers and practitioners, and use existing networks as well as other means to share information.

• Network Development. The Centres encourage, participate in, and enhance the development of networks across the Centres and at regional, provincial, national, and international levels. Networks may include ‘communities of practice', virtual networks, and collaborative efforts to identify and champion best practices in selected areas of public health.