Please join us in Kunming for a workshop we are planning entitled, "Barriers and Bridges to integrating Eco-health into policy applications: A global reality check," in which we will explore experiences of policy applications of ecohealth in different regions around the world. While the ecosystem approach to human health attempts to apply a holistic approach to promote knowledge translation and equity at its heart, documentation of successfully applying this approach to a scale of policy application remains limited. To take stock of progress in meeting this challenge, we are organizing an interactive workshop that will: i) propose a framework for policy analysis for discussion and review, based on a scoping review of literature explicitly addressing the application of ecohealth approaches to policy; ii) present case studies drawn from communities of practice operating in different continents (Africa, Latin America, Asia, Middle East); and iii) Conduct small working group discussions on the concepts of barriers and bridges, notions that have often been used to reflect on the function of adaptive systems. We hope to stimulate the development of consensus on a research agenda around key policy-related questions that should receive increased attention prior to the next Eco-Health conference, allowing evidence to be accumulated on effective methods for integrating ecohealth approaches into policy.
Along with this workshop, some of us are presenting other related research individually as well as part of a second wokshop entitled "Visioning for Abidjan 2013: tools and emerging processes from Sub Saharan Africa". The aim of this workshop is to contribute to consolidate ongoing collaborations towards the goal of strengthening the vision and plan for activities on the first Africa Regional Ecohealth Conference to be held in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa), October 1-5, 2013 ("Africa2013"). Recognizing that Africa shares with the rest of the world the challenge of change management, epitomized by climate issues, participants will focus on the path forward as a transdisciplinary process that spans a range of academic, social and environmental considerations. Thematic integration for the workshop will include advocacy strategies and tools for Ecohealth solutions as well as the critical future role of today's young researchers and practitioner networks, while also engaging one of the primary African challenges that clearly requires an Ecohealth approach - the question of adequate and sustainable water.
About us... The "Groupe Policy" was formed in August 2010, following the Eco-Health conference in London. Since then we have met regularly on Skype, resulting in a number of rich discussions and a recent publication in the journal EcoHealth (2011, Vol. 8 No. 4). Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of our group has been the opportunity to get to know each other through the work we've done together so far. The nick name "Groupe Policy" reflects the two working languages (French and English) of the current members of the group.
The Groupe Policy are Brama Koné (Abidjan, Côte-d’Ivoire), Mathieu Feagan (Toronto, Canada), Nicolas Brou (Abidjan, Côte-d’Ivoire), Yveline Houénou (Abidjan, Côte-d’Ivoire), Jerry Spiegel (Vancouver, Canada),and Edouard Kouassi (Montreal, Canada).