Working Papers

Bridging Policy & Practice: Mapping the core competencies of environmental health services in the Philippines

With the pandemic, we’ve taken meetings, classes, and many other activities online. This includes major conferences like the Sixth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, which takes place every two years. Health Systems Global split the conference into three phases spanning November 2020 to March 2021. The current theme is: Re-imagining health systems for better health and social justice.

The Environmental Health team of ACRI was invited to present at the conference, landing among the top-scoring posters. The poster was entitled, “Bridging Policy & Practice - An implementation fidelity approach to mapping core competencies of public health workers for the delivery of environmental health services in the Philippines”. This was conducted in the context of a larger project, the development of an Environmental Health Service Delivery Package in partnership with the Department of Health and the World Health Organization - Philippines. 

Globally, the Philippines ranks third with the highest risk of being impacted by environmental disasters and calamities. These events adversely affect people’s health, livelihood, and resources. In light of evolving health and climate risks, environmental health workers play a critical role in protecting and promoting public health. However, there is a lack of organizational standards and training for environmental health work. While local and international guidelines exist, these have yet to be standardized and localized in the Philippines.

To address these gaps, the team utilized an implementation fidelity framework in mapping out environmental health competencies. This approach bridges [1] what is intended by policy and [2] what is implemented and achieved in practice.

Findings serve as a stepping stone to identifying organizational and systemic capacities in protecting the public's health from the risk of a changing climate and environment, especially in at-risk and developing countries.