Incentivizing Impact in Environmental Health
Edited by Evan Thomas
This volume highlights some of the challenges in delivering effective environmental health interventions, and presents examples of emergent theories and case studies that can help close the gap between intent and impact. These include impact crediting systems, objective evidence gathering tools, and social businesses that service environmental health. The case studies presented cross disciplines, scales, organizational and national boundaries and can defy easy categorization. A water project may be designed for a health impact, but financed with a climate change tool, and leverage high tech cell phone sensors. A cookstove program may be primarily concerned with employment and capacity building, but balance environmental and health concerns. Access the online version here!
INCENTIVES PRIORITIZE NEW PROJECTS
In spite of good intentions, the fickle flow of funds for development engineering creates incentives for new projects, not the sustained delivery of services or collection of data on existing programs.
NO METRICS FOR MEASURING IMPACT
The new Sustainable Development Goals were announced with fanfare by the United Nations in September 2015. And the intent of the 17 goals were admirable. What was less apparent was how actual impact and success would be measured.
CASE STUDIES FOR IMPROVED IMPACT
My expert co-authors and I highlight some of the challenges in the current models, and offer case studies of how to leverage feedback mechanisms to prove - and improve - impact.
Continuous feedback rather than annual data collection may spur communities to remain engaged with development agencies, which can then respond promptly to problems. This approach could raise quality and accountability, and lead to better decisions on funding.