From Science to Policy and Practice: A Critical Assessment of Knowledge Management before, during, and after Environmental Public Health Disasters
1.2. Knowledge-to-Action (KTA) Process
- Internalization; and
1.3. Toward a National Framework
- Describe various existing models of governance for disaster management, with a focus on the science-policy-practice interface;
- Identify main resources available and challenges for knowledge management; and
- Formulate recommendations toward the establishment of a national framework.
2. Materials and Methods
2.2. Sample Selection
2.3. Data Collection Instrument and Methods
2.4. Other Data Sources
2.6. Integrated Knowledge Translation
3.1. Description of the Data
3.2. Emerging Themes: Critical Success Factors
3.2.1. Blending the Best of Traditional and Modern Approaches
3.2.2. Fostering Community Engagement
3.2.3. Cultivating Relationships
3.2.4. Investing in Preparedness and Recovery
3.2.5. Putting Knowledge into Practice
3.2.6. Ensuring Sufficient Human and Financial Resources
3.3. Promising Knowledge-to-Action Strategies
- Community of practice: A pan-Canadian community of practice involving emergency managers, public health practitioners, academics, local champions, Red Cross professionals, and any other stakeholders interested in EPH disasters, should be hosted within a trusted organization to support disaster preparedness. Within this community of practice, local initiatives could be shared and general consensus or understanding could be achieved regarding best practices in disaster response (e.g., risk assessment) and recovery (e.g., long-term monitoring). This would also be the ideal setting for the development of standardized tools for disaster health research as a basis for further action.
- Roster of experts: Linked to the above community of practice, a roster of Canadian experts (e.g., researchers, toxicologists, epidemiologists, environmental health, occupational health, and mental health experts) should be created to support disaster response and recovery. We anticipate that this network could be called upon as needed to form scientific advisory groups to assist local authorities dealing with EPH disasters in both the short- and long-term. Such an initiative could also increase collaboration and sharing of expertise between researchers and EPH personnel in the field. Drawing on existing models (such as DR2), it would also lead to the identification of relevant research questions and the development of a research agenda that fits operational objectives [24,37,54].
- Knowledge generation: A systematic mechanism to promote retention of learning from past events is required. All types of knowledge gained responding to previous disasters should be valued, whether this is first-, second-, or third-generation scientific knowledge, or local knowledge such as success stories, pilot initiatives, and lessons learned from the field . As part of recovery operations, emergency managers and EPH practitioners should take the time to learn from their experiences and contribute to establishing a solid foundation upon which to can build national capacities. Debriefs should involve multiple sectors and seek the input from members of the community . Standardized templates for after-action reports and a tracking system for correctable issues should be made available. Their use should be legislated after any exercise or real event in order to identify lessons, and most importantly to learn from them locally. The storage of completed templates in a central location (publicly available) would facilitate access to local knowledge and foster vertical and horizontal knowledge translation.
- Knowledge transfer: There is an urgent need in Canada (and elsewhere) to gather and synthesize disaster-related knowledge, and to transfer it to other communities, ideally using same central space (i.e., a virtual repository) identified in item (3) above. This knowledge might take the form of research findings, research protocols, practice guidelines, data collection tools and resources, training and exercises materials, lessons learned, etc. Such a virtual repository could be developed de novo, but Canadian documents could also be identified and shared through the extensive repository of tools and resources available from the US (i.e., Disaster Lit®, an NLM resource guide). Moreover, Canadian representatives should be appointed to the NLM Disaster Information Specialist Program, which supports the provision of disaster-related health information resources to the disaster workforce through a network of information professionals and librarians.
- Guidance on Sendai Framework: Guidance for a better integration of the Sendai Framework into health emergency management in the Canadian context should be developed. Such guidance would be particularly helpful for a growing number of stakeholders wishing a paradigm shift from disaster management to disaster risk management.
Strengths and Limitations
Conflicts of Interest
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|2||British Columbia||Public Health||National||F|
|3||British Columbia||Public Health||Local||F|
|17||United States||Public Health||National||F|
|19||United Kingdom||Public Health||National||F|
|20||United Kingdom||Public Health||National||F|
|Opportunities for professional growth from mentorships at Canadian Red Cross||Report on lessons learned by the community after the 2016 Seaforth channel spill||User-friendly Sharepoint® with resources and tools shared on an ongoing basis in Alberta|
|Lessons learned from Slave Lake and Lac-Mégantic integrated into the mental health recovery plan in Fort McMurray||Book on the Lac-Mégantic tragedy sharing lessons learned by health and community networks||Environmental public health response and recovery toolkit in Alberta|
|Multisectoral debriefing after Neptune Technologie explosion that led to a better response in Lac-Mégantic||Mapping of responsibilities/accountabilities following recommendations at Canadian Red Cross||Emergency preparedness and response working group in NB to facilitate access to documents and resources|
|During 2017 Quebec floods, meeting with a city previously affected by a major flood to learn from past experiences|
|During 2017 Quebec floods, visit of an expert on the ground to share his knowledge|
|Provincial symposium organized by HEMBC|
|Local emergency planning committees (federal mandate)||Rapid Needs Assessment facilitated by CASPER toolkit||Lessons learned database at FEMA|
|Phone call organized by CDC between 4 states affected after Hurricane Matthew||Central office for all after-action reports at CDC (problems and corrections)||Disaster Lit®: 12,000 records (grey literature) related to public health disasters at NLM|
|Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training||NIH DR2 Program: Repository of surveys, questionnaires, protocols, guidance, forms|
|Environmental Justice Summit organized in Flint (Michigan)|
|Disaster epidemiology community of practice|
|Disaster information specialists at NLM|
|Newcastle conference on psychosocial impacts of emergencies||Overview and Scrutiny Committee in Newcastle following after-action reports||Mapping of the Sendai Framework implementation: resources, projects, all sectors|
|Local resilience forums|
|PHE Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards|
|UK Alliance for Disaster Research|
|Expert advisory panel/group activated by Chief Public Health Officer||Lessons from the community after 2009 Victoria bushfires|
|Mentoring network at the Australian Red Cross|
|Expert Group Health Research and Care after Disasters and Environmental Crises|
|WHO Thematic Platform for Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management Research Group||International Federation of Red Cross Psychosocial Center website: a lot of very useful resources||Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN): a web-based early-warning tool|
|UNISDR Scientific and Technical Advisory Group||Evidence Aid: reliable, up-to-date evidence on interventions in the context of emergencies|
|WHO collaborating center on chemical incidents||Weekly updates from the PHE Global Hazards Weekly Bulletin|
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Généreux, M.; Lafontaine, M.; Eykelbosh, A. From Science to Policy and Practice: A Critical Assessment of Knowledge Management before, during, and after Environmental Public Health Disasters. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 587. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040587
Généreux M, Lafontaine M, Eykelbosh A. From Science to Policy and Practice: A Critical Assessment of Knowledge Management before, during, and after Environmental Public Health Disasters. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(4):587. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040587Chicago/Turabian Style
Généreux, Mélissa, Marc Lafontaine, and Angela Eykelbosh. 2019. "From Science to Policy and Practice: A Critical Assessment of Knowledge Management before, during, and after Environmental Public Health Disasters" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 4: 587. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040587