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Dynamiques urbaines et enjeux sanitaires Paris, September 2013. Urban Health and Wellbeing Program. Mohd Nordin Hasan ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. Introduction. A new approach to project planning and development

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urban health and wellbeing program

Dynamiques urbaines et enjeux sanitaires

Paris, September 2013

Urban Health and Wellbeing Program

Mohd Nordin Hasan

ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

  • A new approach to project planning and development
  • Will overcome compartmentalised science and policy planning and implementation
  • Collaborative conceptual modeling (CCM)
  • Multistakeholder cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral approach supported by system dynamics modeling
  • To produce realistic solutions to health and wellbeing issues in the urban environment
  • ICSU ROAP established - September 2006
  • Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific (“Governing Board”) identified priority areas for ROAP
  • Initially 3 areas
    • Hazards and disasters
    • Ecosystems
    • Sustainable energy
  • Health and wellbeing in the changing urban environment added as a priority in 2008
at icsu
  • Discussions on a programme on health and wellbeing commenced in 2006
  • Scoping Group formed in 2007
  • Science Planning Group started work in 2008
  • Report completed in 2010
  • General Assembly 2011 approved programme and proposal to establish IPO on UHW
at icsu roap
  • Regional Science Planning Group formed in 2010
  • 3 meetings - Kuala Lumpur (2) and Xiamen (1)
  • On-line consultations at every stage
  • Plan launched in June 2011 (22nd Pacific Science Congress)
relations with the icsu global plan
Relations with the ICSU global plan
  • ROAP Plan developed out of the ICSU plan
  • An adaptation of the global plan to Asia-Pacific Region
  • A step in the implementation of the ICSU Plan
  • Strong focus and inter-relations maintained – it’s one and the same programme!

Asia-Pacific planning context

  • Environmentally fragile regions: e.g. pacific islands
  • Human development indicators: lowest to highest
  • Health: life style diseases, infectious diseases, injuries
  • Income: low, high, emerging
  • Population density: low to some of the highest
  • Cultural: ancient to modern
  • Governance: monarchy, democracy, socialist etc


  • Ethnic diversity
  • Resilience
  • Many surviving local health practices (Ayurveda, Chinese, Vaastu, Fengshui)
  • Strong family values and social safety nets
  • High aspirations
  • Skilled manpower in many fields
  • Young population
urbanization trends

Urbanization trends

Rapid urbanization

>50% urban population

Mostly young people

Has triple burden of

infectious diseases

emerging life style diseases

injuries from accidents

features of the uhw programme
Features of the UHW programme
  • Recognises that urban health issues are complex, and require multi-disciplinary approaches
  • Promotes research into urban health and wellbeing where researchers address multi-sectoral issues and involve a wide range of stakeholders 
  • Adopts a system dynamics approach
Beyond silos….taking a systems approach Understanding of multiple determinants of health and wellbeing
recommended implementation strategy
Recommended implementation strategy
  • Identify institutions keen on using systems approach in work on urban health and wellbeing;
  • Encourage institutions to engage in building capacity
  • Encourage institutions to propose and undertake pilot projects;
  • Bring project team into contact with potential funding agencies to support the research
  • Use the exemplar pilot studies as base for outreach to get city administrators and governors to support and use the systems approach for better evidence-based decision making.
implementation of the science plan began 2012
Implementation of the science plan – began 2012
  • Capacity building
    • particular attention - utility of the systems approach to a complex problem
  • Development of exemplar research projects
    • centered on 6 cities (Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, Pune, Xiamen, Taipei)
    • Examples of use of systems approach to deliver better outcomes
implementation step 1
Implementation Step-1
  • Pre-scoping Workshop, Hyderabad, 28 – 29 June 2012.
    • Multidisciplinary, multi stakeholder workshop
    • Identified needs and priorities (nutrition and health, waste management, informal settlements, urbantransport; vector-borne disease / communicable diseases added in 2nd workshop)
    • Explored potential research teams with merit and output-oriented focus
    • Discussed possibilities for research funding and support
    • Developed call for pre-proposals
implementation step 2
Implementation Step-2
  • Scoping Workshop Bangkok, 28 – 29 August 2012
    • Reviewed concept proposals received (6/8 accepted for development to full proposal)
    • Achieved
      • clarification of research aims of projects,
      • identification of training needs in systems approaches,
      • identification of complementary activities required for successful management of pilot projects
      • agreement of selected projects
  • Agreed design features (August 2012):
    • Used systems thinking via the CCM approach
    • Recognise that urban-health problems are multi-sectoral, and solving them require multi- disciplinary approaches, and
    • Projects takes into account the interests of a wide range of stakeholders
  • Regional Steering Committee formed
    • Chair Prof JavedIqbal
    • Members Profs SoottipornChittmittrapap, Tony Capon, C.P. Ramachandran, Katrina Proust, NordinHasan (ex officio)
implementation step 3
Implementation Step-3
  • Systems Workshop, Kuala Lumpur January 2013
    • Leaders of selected projects with advanced copies of projects proposals
    • Introduction to dynamic modelling and collaborative conceptual modelling (CCM) methodologies
    • Assistance to finalise proposals for submission to funding bodies on-going
final remarks
Final remarks
  • All ICSU regional offices have urban health as a priority area of work
  • Approach adopted by Asia-Pacific can be shared as a template to guide implementation in other regions (Africa; Latin America and the Caribbean)
  • Approach fits very well as a tool for planning multidisciplinary integrated research, the core concept underlying new 10-year global platform for research on global sustainability Future Earth
thank you planning group members et al
Thank you! Planning Group members et al.


  • Tony Capon, Australia
  • Yong Guan Zhu, China
  • PhillipaHowden Chapman, New Zealand
  • Reiko Kishi, Japan
  • Jaime Montoya , Phillipines
  • Indira Nath, India, Chair
  • Katrina Proust , Australia
  • NordinHasan (Ex officio)

Method Specialist

  • Barry Newell, Australia


  • BHJ Mckellar, Chair RCAP Australia
  • Nor Zaneedarwaty Norman, Malaysia
  • HizamJaafar, Malaysia
  • SharizadDahlan