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An evaluation of the ‘C-WorKS' community

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The NIHR ARC North East and North Cumbria has funded a project to evaluate the impact of the ‘C-WorKS’ community of practice.

‘C-WorKS ‘ is an acronym that stands for ‘Covid-19 consequences: Want it? or Know it? Share it!’

C-WorKS was launched in June 2020, initially as an online community and knowledge-sharing platform, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to support the collation and sharing of knowledge and intelligence on a regional, system-wide basis, about the impacts of COVID-19. It has since grown into a wide network of public health professionals who share information and intelligence in a variety of ways.

Background – what is C-WorKS?

C-WorKS is a community that brings together people and organisations across the North East and Yorkshire to reduce the impact of wider consequences of COVID-19. As a network, its members collaborate and share knowledge, expertise and resources across health and wellbeing topic areas, including health inequalities. It also hosts regular events.

It is led by The Office for Health Improvements and Disparities (OHID) and partners including the North of England Commissioning Support Unit (NECS) and NHS England.

Its aims are:

  • To bring together the people and organisations who will hold different pieces of knowledge and understanding, to enable more effective, equitable and efficient ways of working across the whole region.
  • To facilitate the sharing of information, reduce duplication, highlight gaps and maximise the value of non-Covid, system-wide work done in this region
  • To empower members to add their own resources, post questions and proactively contact others who are working on similar issues.

Early impacts:

  • A wide ranging membership, which reaches across the National Health Service, local authorities, voluntary sector, librarians, and academia in the North East and Yorkshire. Currently over 700 members in the region and over 230 resources uploaded on our platform.
  • Providing a resource for other networks such as the NE ICS Population Health Management Group, Ways to Wellness and NE Health Impact Assessment.
  • Offering more policy- focused outputs and transformed the way the PHE Knowledge and Intelligence Team (KIT) disseminate their outputs to decision makers
  • Attracted interest in scaling up – with Future NHS and others nationally, recognising the unique collaborative nature, engagement with members, rapid development, responsiveness and breadth of C-WorKS

Why do we need an evaluation of C-WorKS?

  • Available monitoring data is not sufficient to capture its impact (e.g. use of knowledge through C-WorKS and learning between stakeholders).
  • It will enable us to share learning of developing online knowledge sharing hubs during an pandemic – including failures and successes
  • It could produce valuable outputs, such as joint papers, follow-up funding applications, capacity building among practitioners and policy makers in C-WorK

What will the evaluation cover?

  • Process evaluation: key stakeholder interviews about experiences of developing and implementing C-WorKS, including key lessons, barriers and facilitators
  • Impact evaluation: interviews with C-WorKS users including community members, to explore knowledge use and impact upon practice
  • Social network analysis: online survey with wider stakeholders to map reach and connectivity (maturity matrix around network development)
  • Data triangulation (thematic analysis), joint interpretation meetings and report/ papers writing

What might happen after the evaluation is complete?

  • Regular feedback meetings with C-WorKS management group (MAPS)
  • The development of a practical guidance document on how to develop and maintain a regional knowledge sharing hub for practitioners
  • A dissemination event

The evaluation project is funded by the NIHR ARC NENC. It is led by Dr Peter Van Der Graaf from Teesside University and Dr Sarah Sowden from Newcastle University/Office for Health Improvements and Disparities.

Find out more

  • You can join C-WorKS and access C-WorKS resources by registering with Khub if you haven’t already.
  • Once your account has been created please navigate to the PHINE Khub group and simply ‘request to join’. This is a restricted group for those working within a public health remit.
  • Once access has been granted please visit the C-WorKS or C-WorKS resources (tabs found across the top of the page).

If you would like to find out more about the evaluation, please email