Improving Environmental Health Practice and Policy through Convergence Research: A Case Study of Linked Food-Water Systems Enhancing Child Health
Promoting access to safe drinking water or access to nutritious food, each independently contribute uniquely to positive gains in human health. Nexus analysis -- a systems-based approach to study interconnection and interdependence -- provides a framework to expose interactions and interventions in linked food-water systems. Interactions result in unintentional changes in efficacy or toxicity creating poorer-than-expected health outcomes while synergistic interventions targeting both "water, sanitation, and hygiene" as well as "food security, nutrition, and safety" yield greater-than-anticipated improvements in health and wellness. Herein, we describe a case study of linked food-water systems, where discovery, integration, application, and the scholarship of teaching and learning, collectively enhanced child health through convergence research - a transdisciplinary approach to solve a compelling and specific problem. The method integrates five techniques predominant in the field of health care, including: (1) community-based participatory research, (2) structured reviews, (3) mixed methods, (4) structural equation modeling, and (5) interprofessional education - at multiple study sites in east Africa, Guatemala, Brazil, and South Africa. The compelling problem explored is, "the lack of an overarching framework to achieve improvements in interdisciplinary environmental health practice and policy," to ultimately solve specific problems such as, "the eradication of childhood stunting." Results demonstrate that convergence research improves environmental health practice and policy by exposing insights to be measured, validated, and disseminated.
D. B. Oerther et al., "Improving Environmental Health Practice and Policy through Convergence Research: A Case Study of Linked Food-Water Systems Enhancing Child Health," Environmental Engineering Science, vol. 36, no. 7, pp. 820-832, Mary Ann Liebert Inc., Jul 2019.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1089/ees.2019.0058
Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Childhood Stunting; Community-Based Participatory Research; Interprofessional Education; Mixed Methods; Structural Equation Modeling; Structured Reviews
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
© 2019 Mary Ann Liebert Inc., All rights reserved.
01 Jul 2019