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Systems Change for Health Assessing and Framing the Problem
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Systems Change Health™ Training Courses

Introduction to the Systems Change Process

  1. Assessing and Framing the Problem
  2. Analyzing Potential Solutions
  3. Influencing the Systems Change Process
  4. Implementing Enacted Policies
  5. Evaluating Systems Change Interventions

Online Attendee Group 

Assessing and Framing the Problem

Timeframe: Two-Days (see sample agenda below)

Learning Objectives: By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe how health evidence, stakeholder values, and social determinants of health contribute to a problem definition
  2. Use systems thinking to develop a problem definition
  3. Narrow a problem definition
  4. Use framing elements to communicate a problem definition

Background

Public health professionals are increasingly working on systems and environmental solutions to health problems.  For example, local or state organizations may plan to reduce childhood obesity by changing school district policies related to physical activity and nutrition.  To effectively work on policy change, however, these professionals need to articulate the problem with a concise, relevant and compelling definition.  Whoever develops the most effective definition will generally be able to influence the solution.

Workshop Description

During this 2-day, interactive workshop, participants begin developing skills for defining a health problem.  The workshop guides participants in considering how problems are socially constructed in order to gain policy attention.  They learn how health disparities and social determinants of health are investigated to reveal root causes of problems that can produce health inequities.  Participants are introduced to systems thinking to clarify the scope of a problem, and to point toward the type of solution to pursue.  The workshop introduces participants to skills for framing messages, and provides a 3-part structure for defining a problem for different target audiences.

The workshop will rely on multiple learning styles including experiential activities (e.g., case example, small group exercises, individual reflection), as well as PowerPoint slides and written materials.  Facilitators guide the learning activities and provide background lecture for new concepts and methods.  Emphasis will be on exploring the concepts, practicing techniques, and learning from the participants’ collective skills and experience.

Target Audience

Public health professionals from state and local agencies, including:  division managers; health promotion, health education and environmental health staff; clinical staff managing non-clinical programs; and key partners collaborating on policy, environmental, or systems change initiatives.

Relevance and Usefulness

Participants will gain a better understanding of how political discourse considers public health problems.  After learning new concepts and practicing techniques, participants will have increased their skill in defining health problems – a first step in the public health Essential Service of developing health-supportive policy.  The workshop introduces learners to two of the 21 specialized competencies promoted by the Directors of Health Promotion and Education (www.dhpe.org), and provides information relevant to the CHES competency on advocacy. DHPE is approved as a provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH), Category I in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC). This course is approved for 11.5 CECH (11 of 11.5 are advanced-level MCHES).

Session Agenda

 

                                                           Day 1

Time

Activity

8:30

Registration and Networking

9:00
(30 min)

Opening
• Introductory activities

9:30
(20 min)

Background
• Changing policies, environments and systems
• Competency curricula

9:50
(15 min)

What is a “Problem”?
• Social construction of problems

10:05
(25 min)

Case Example
• Orientation to case example

10:30
(15 min)

BREAK

10:45
(20 min)

Learning about the Problem (Part 1)
• Evidence and data

11:05
(55 min)

Learning about the Problem (Part 2)
• Identifying stakeholders and their values

12:00
(75 min)

LUNCH

1:15
(90 min)

Learning about the Problem (Part 3)
• Social determinants of health

2:30
(15 min)

BREAK

2:45
(30 min)

Put it Together
• Systems thinking

3:15
(60 min)

Define the Problem (Part 1)
• Setting a boundary

4:15
(15 min)

Closing
• Review
• Feedback

4:30

END


 

                                                           Day 2

Time

Activity

8:30

Registration and Networking

9:00
(60 min)

Opening
• Review from Day 1
• Review agenda and materials for Day 2

10:00
(30 min)

Define the Problem (Part 2)
• Solutions (built environments)

10:30
(15 min)

BREAK

10:45
(45 min)

Define the Problem (Part 2 – continued)
• Solutions (policies)

11:30
(30 min)

Define the Problem (Part 3)
• Impact and feasibility

12:00
(75 min)

 LUNCH

1:15
(20 min)

State “What’s Wrong” (Part 4)
• Developing a 1-sentence description

1:35
(60 min)

Define the Problem (Part 4)
• Building the 3-part problem definition

2:35
(15 min)

BREAK

2:50
(45 min)

Communicating the Problem (Part 1)
• Framing 101

3:35
(40 min)

Communicating the Problem (Part 2)
• Framing the problem

4:15
(15 min)

Closing
• Review
• Feedback 

4:30

END

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