From theory to action: Implementing the WSSD Global Initiative on children's environmental health indicators
Roles and responsibilities of partners
Each partner in CEHI can help shape the process of developing, collecting and reporting children’s environmental health indicators. Roles and contributions by different partners at the global, regional, national and local level may include:
- co-ordination and facilitation
- facilitation of linkages with related activities
- setting priorities, including identification of countries for initial actions
- starting regional pilot programmes to establish, collect and report CEH indicators
- technical support and capacity-building
- data collection, interpretation, and quality assurance
- reporting indicators
- information dissemination
- evaluation and sharing results
- provision of policy guidance
At the national level, we envisage that a lead agency closely coordinates work with all agencies and sectors involved with children’s health and environment at the local and national level. It is suggested that high-level commitment be sought from the ministries of health and environment and other interested ministries. These activities will include deciding on priority areas, identifying indicators, reviewing existing data sources and options for new data collection, data analysis and indicator calculation, validation of results, reporting and information dissemination.
At the regional level, we propose that Technical Steering Groups be established for each regional pilot, involving key representatives from each participating country as well as representatives of supporting organizations. All partner organizations are invited to propose experts to participate. These Steering Groups can help oversee the development of regional pilots, and be involved in identifying regional priorities for children’s environmental health indicators, setting up regional networks, reviewing indicators, and evaluating the implementation of information collection and reporting. Ultimately, it is the national commitment that will drive regional pilots, therefore the interests of participating countries should always be at the centre of regional pilots.
At the global level, the Partnership serves as the overall Steering Committee to co-ordinate efforts to better understand, through indicators, the situation of children’s environmental health throughout the world, enable evidence-based decision-making and policy-making, and ultimately create better opportunities for children’s growth and development.
Coordination of CEHI at the global, regional and country level
- Co-ordinate CEHI and ensure regular interaction and communication;
- Raise funding;
- Closely coordinate activities with HECA and HELI;
- Closely coordinate activities with existing WHO activities on child health indicators, in particular with the Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development;
- Lead an effort to modify existing international survey instruments to accommodate additional questions relevant to children’s environmental health;
- Act as a global clearing house for information on CEH indicators;
- Develop policy guidance.
Implementation of regional pilots
- Identify interested countries;
- Operate as regional focal points to co-ordinate the collection and reporting of CEH indicators;
- Help identify regional and national priorities;
- Provide technical expertise and build capacity in regions and countries regarding CEH indicators;
- Facilitate feedback into the process of assessing the global burden of disease at the national, regional and global level.
National governments and other national partners can:
- Choose to participate in national/regional CEH indicators efforts;
- Identify available data sources and develop indicators;
- Set priorities for children’s environmental health and determine information needs;
- Identify lead and participating agencies;
- Build national networks to collect CEH information;
- Plan and implement pilot studies;
- Review existing surveillance systems;
- Implement data collection and indicator reporting and link this to policies and programmes to improve children’s environmental health;
- Monitor implementation and evaluate usefulness of CEH indicators;
- Raise additional funding.
Other international partners and NGOs can:
- Help identify regional and national priorities;
- Play a key role as part of the implementation of the CEH indicators effort at the regional and national level;
- Identify and facilitate access to suitable data;
- Advocate for the collection of CEH indicators and the broadening of scope of existing surveys;
- Provide technical support to data collection and indicator development;
- Play a key role in the preparation and dissemination of national, regional or global reports on CEH indicators;
- Raise additional funding;
- Develop policy guidance;
- Exchange information and share experiences gained through related past, ongoing and future environment and health projects.