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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 93, Supplement 1, pp S9–S15 | Cite as

Health-and-Environment Indicators in the Context of Sustainable Development

  • Yasmin E. von SchirndingEmail author
Article

Abstract

This paper gives a broad overview of issues relevant to the development and use of health-and-environment indicators in the broader context of sustainable development. Criteria for the construction of indicators are given, and their key characteristics are highlighted. Selected international indicator initiatives are discussed, as well as the concept and use of core indicators in policy and planning. Finally, an organizational framework for the consideration of health-environment-development linkages is presented, which can be used in the development of health-and-environment indicators in various contexts. This framework is the Driving forces-Pressures-State-Exposures-Health Effects-Actions framework (DPSEEA) of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is a descriptive representation of the way in which various driving forces generate pressures which affect the state of the environment, and ultimately human health through the various exposure pathways by which people come into contact with the environment. Throughout the paper, emphasis is placed on work done within the UN system, in particular that of the WHO, and examples of suites of indicators developed and in use are provided.

Résumé

L’article offre une vue d’ensemble des enjeux relatifs à l’élaboration et l’utilisation d’indicateurs de santé et d’environnement dans le contexte plus large du développement durable. L’auteur propose des critères pour la construction d’indicateurs et en souligne les principales caractéristiques. Il traite de certains projets d’indicateurs à l’échelle planétaire ainsi que de la conception et de l’utilisation d’indicateurs de base pour l’élaboration de politiques et la planification. De plus, il présente un cadre organisationnel qui tient compte des liens entre la santé, l’environnement et le développement et qui peut servir à la mise au point d’indicateurs de santé et d’environnement dans divers contextes. Ce cadre de l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS) s’intitule Forces motrices-Pressions-État-Exposition-Effets sur la santé-Actions (DPSEEA en anglais). Il constitue une representation descriptive de la manière dont les diverses forces motrices exercent des pressions qui touchent l’état de l’environnement puis la santé humaine, vu les diverses voies d’exposition par lesquelles les personnes entrent en contact avec l’environnement. L’auteur insiste sur le travail effectué dans le réseau de l’ONU, notamment dans celui de l’OMS, et fournit des exemples de groupes d’indicateurs mis au point et utilisés.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.World Health OrganizationSwitzerland

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