Archived project

Ecohealth Field Building Leadership Initiative in Southeast Asia (2012-2016)

Goal: Ecohealth Field Building Leadership Initiative (FBLI) is a regionally operational research program in Southeast Asia and China that focuses on solving human health problems associated with agricultural intensification. FBLI gathers researchers, policy makers, community members and other stakeholders from 4 focused countries (China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam). Operational research focuses on aspects of agriculture intensification on health and the environment in 4 study sites. Integrated approaches to the research component including survey, participatory and cross-cutting methods. Research outputs with an participatory consultations lead to the identification of interventions that improve health and environment.
http://www.ecohealthasia.net/

Date: 1 October 2012 - 1 September 2016

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Project log

Steven Lam
added a research item
Sustainably intensifying agriculture to secure food for people, while minimizing the human, animal, and environmental health impacts is an unprecedented global food security challenge. Action research is needed to understand and mitigate impacts, with Ecosystem approaches to health (Ecohealth) emerging as a promising framework to support such efforts. Yet, few have critically examined the application of Ecohealth principles in an agricultural context, particularly in Southeast Asia where agricultural intensification is rapidly expanding. In this paper, we evaluate the strengths, challenges, and opportunities of agriculture-related Ecohealth projects in low-resource settings of Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and China, drawing on a case study of the Field Building Leadership Initiative (FBLI). To do this, we used a developmental evaluation framework involving several iterative cycles of document reviews, interviews, focus groups, and outcome harvesting with researchers, partners, and community members involved in FBLI. Results highlight the importance of transdisciplinarity, participation, and knowledge-to-action principles in co-generating knowledge and co-developing practical solutions. Implementing such principles presents challenges in terms of coordinating regional collaborations, managing high workloads, meaningfully engaging communities, and ensuring ongoing monitoring and evaluation. To address these challenges, there is a need to strengthen capacity in integrated approaches to health, improve institutionalization of Ecohealth, foster community engagement, and systematically monitor and evaluate efforts. Ecohealth holds significant promise in improving food security, but only when considerable time is spent developing and implementing projects with communities.
Tuyet-Hanh Thi Tran
added a research item
The textbook was written and published in Vietnamese aimed to provide a comprehensive material about Ecohealth, its principles, the applications, challenges and opportunities etc. in local language. This can facilitate the access of local undergraduate students, post graduate students, lecturers, and researchers, whose English skills are not advanced enough. The textbook also provides practical experiences of the authors during the implementation of the Ecohealth principles in their research in Vietnam. This textbook can be an useful reference for Ecohealth training courses in the coming years.
Steven Lam
added a research item
Background Agricultural intensification is having profound impacts on food security and rural livelihoods; however, concerns remain about the potential implications on public health. Objectives We aim to examine and synthesize the evidence for human health risks of agricultural intensification in Southeast Asia. Methods We conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed articles published between January 2000 and December 2015 from two electronic databases (PubMed, CAB Direct). Results A total of 73 relevant studies were included and evaluated. More than half of the studies used epidemiological methods while others applied alternative methods to quantify or estimate risks. Studies mainly focused on occupational and consumer exposure to pesticides, without often specifying the actual health risk. Conclusion Overall, the current knowledge on health risks appears to be limited. More research on long-term health implications and a wider range of contaminants are needed if sustainable benefits are to be obtained from agricultural intensification.
Hung Nguyen-Viet
added 9 research items
The Ecosystem approach to health, or Ecohealth is a useful tool to address health and environmental issues in developing countries, particularly in South East Asia (SEA), where agricultural intensification processes have profound implications for ecosystems and health. The Field Building Leadership Initiative (FBLI) Advancing Ecohealth in SEA program aims to build the field of Ecohealth by integrating research, training, policy and networking to focus on solving human health problems associated with agricultural intensification in SEA countries. This paper aims at updating the one-year journey of the program from October 2011 until October 2012 and providing insights into the plan for the coming years. A number of activities of the project’s research component, capacity building, and knowledge translation have been completed in line with the proposal. Outcomes and outputs of the one-year implementation are also presented.
This forum paper proposes a reflection on the "field of ecohealth" and on how best to sustain a supportive environment that enables the evolution of diverse partnerships and forms of collaboration in the field. It is based on the results of a preconference workshop held in October 2012, in Kunming, China at the fourth biennial conference of the International Association for Ecology and Health. Attended by 105 persons from 38 countries, this workshop aimed to have a large-group and encompassing discussion about ecohealth as an emerging field, touching on subjects such as actors, processes, structures, standards, and resources. Notes taken were used to conduct a qualitative thematic analysis combined with a semantic network analysis. Commonalities highlighted by these discussions draw a portrait of a field in which human health, complex systems thinking, action, and ecosystem health are considered central issues. The need to reach outside of academia to government and the general public was identified as a shared goal. A disconnect between participants' main concerns and what they perceived as the main concerns of funding agencies emerged as a primary roadblock for the future.
Hung Nguyen-Viet
added a project goal
Ecohealth Field Building Leadership Initiative (FBLI) is a regionally operational research program in Southeast Asia and China that focuses on solving human health problems associated with agricultural intensification. FBLI gathers researchers, policy makers, community members and other stakeholders from 4 focused countries (China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam). Operational research focuses on aspects of agriculture intensification on health and the environment in 4 study sites. Integrated approaches to the research component including survey, participatory and cross-cutting methods. Research outputs with an participatory consultations lead to the identification of interventions that improve health and environment.