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Knowledge Triangulation

PI: Dr. Jürgen Rehm, Institute of Mental Health Policy Research, CAMH, ON and Ontario CRISM Node Team (OCRINT)

Working GroupMr. Jean-Francois Crepault (CAMH); TBD

To enhance the validity and accuracy of our evaluation and the data collected in each sub-study, we will undertake two independent knowledge triangulation activities: 1) stakeholder focus groups and 2) jurisdictional analyses.


In the fourth year of the evaluation, we will recruit approximately 6-10 individuals who have not participated previously in any of our sub-studies to participate in one of four stakeholder focus groups: 1) PWUD, 2) police and CJS, 3) general public, 4) harm reduction and OAT providers. Specifically, we will present the results obtained from each sub-study to the relevant stakeholder group to elicit feedback (e.g., we will present our PWUD-specific sub-study data to the PWUD stakeholder focus group). The goal of these focus groups will be to triangulate our findings and assess how well they align with the experiences of these individuals, who either have the lived experience or work on the ground. This technique, known as member checking in qualitative research methodologies, will be employed to evaluate the credibility and trustworthiness of our study results.


We will organize four separate focus groups, comprising approximately 40 adults (aged 18+) who reside in BC and who identify with the aforementioned stakeholder groups. In advance of the focus groups, we will email each participant a summary of key themes and findings to prepare them for the focus group discussions, as well as a link to an online REDCap E-consent form and subsequent socio-demographic survey. The focus groups will be conducted virtually (via Webex) and will last approximately 60-90 minutes. Participants will have the opportunity to share their personal experiences and reflect on their community experiences in relation to the decriminalization evaluation data presented.


In addition to conducting focus groups to triangulate knowledge and ensure the validity and accuracy of our data, we will also undertake jurisdictional analyses. One caveat of decriminalization policy is that although it is universally mandated across the province, how the policy is applied and enforced will vary by jurisdiction and specific police forces. It will also be dependent on resources allocated towards specific services within jurisdictions and how they are able to respond to the policy. It will therefore be important to conduct jurisdictional-specific analyses to examine potential differences in the application of the decriminalization policy.


In order to examine potential differences, in year three and five of the evaluation, we will select a random sample of approximately 10 communities that are representative of BC’s five Health Service Delivery Areas. We will examine and compare our qualitative and quantitative data collected from these 10 communities against our qualitative and quantitative data collected from other jurisdictions across BC, as well as for the province as a whole, to see whether the data substantially differ. Specifically, we will undertake a qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) which will allow us to conduct systematic comparisons across cases to probe and examine potential causal links between our qualitative and quantitative data.