Our History

Lead, Create, Mobilize

PolicyWise for Children & Families exists to improve the well-being of children, families, and communities by leading, creating, and mobilizing research and evaluation for evidence-informed policy and practice.

PolicyWise was established as a not-for-profit corporation in 2003 and is a partnership between Alberta’s universities, the community, and the Government of Alberta. We are a provincial organization, governed by a Board of Directors, managed by a President and CEO and supported by a team of individuals with expertise in applied research, data science, knowledge mobilization, communications, marketing, public relations, and administration.

PolicyWise distinguishes itself through its focus on mobilizing evidence to inform social policy, collaborative approach and organizational structure: a formal bridge between government, academia, and the community. With the development of the Child and Youth Data Laboratory (CYDL), in 2007, we played a unique role in the analysis and interpretation of linked administrative data collected across all child and youth serving ministries.

A related PolicyWise initiative is our collaborative data repository platform, SAGE (Secondary Analysis to Generate Evidence). SAGE manages and shares research, community service, and administrative data, which increases the value of data by bringing stakeholders together to use it in new ways.

Over the past decade, we have designed, implemented, and managed numerous evaluations; each being unique in subject matter, methodology, scope, and scale. We have led formative, summative, and process evaluations as well as innovative system level, developmental, and early impact evaluations. Through these projects we seek to understand the interactions, contributions, and impacts at individual, organizational, and systems, and policy levels. Our experience has shaped our evaluation and project quality assurance approaches.