The objective of this document is to provide guidance in the performance of a situation analysis aimed at identifying the weaknesses, strengths and needs for strengthening a country's public health pesticide management practices.
It identifies the key steps in the planning process and outlines a methodology for such analysis. It provides:
- Core information to be obtained
- The process methodology to be followed, including:
- establishment of a task force responsible for the " analysis;
- identification of stakeholders/partners;
- development of a stakeholder involvement plan;
- selection of experts to perform the analysis;
- identification of key sectors/informants;
- analysis of information and report writing.
The use of pesticides is an important component in the integrated approach to control vectors and pests of public health importance. Effective management of these public health pesticides has become an increasingly important priority for Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) as a result of the dwindling arsenal of safe and cost-effective pesticides and the growing challenges arising from their management under decentralized health systems. The increasing use of pesticides by individuals and communities for personal protection and vector control is a further challenge to pesticide management.
Pesticide management involves the regulatory control, proper handling, supply, transport, storage, application, use and waste management and disposal of pesticides to minimize adverse environmental effects and human exposure. WHO Guidelines on the management of public health pesticides1 promote pesticide management practices that minimize health and environmental risk, as well as promoting judicious use of the pesticides. The guidelines are intended to assist Member States with sound management of public health pesticides and the implementation of the International code of conduct on the distribution and use of pesticides.2
Public health pesticides include vector control pesticides, household insecticides and professional pest management pesticides. While the majority of Member States have legislation for the control of agricultural pesticides, a significant number of countries have yet to establish such regulations for public health pesticides.3 Cost-effective and optimized use of limited national resources for effective regulation and management of pesticides (agricultural as well as public health pesticides) is a challenge that requires priority action by most Member States.
Increasing concern over the environmental impacts of pesticide use, as evidenced by multilateral environmental agreements such as the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants,4 also denotes the urgent need for capacity strengthening for effective management of public health pesticides.
While significant steps have been taken by Member States in recent years to improve pesticide management practices, major weaknesses still exist, predominantly in developing countries. Situation analysis is the crucial first step in needs assessment and the development and execution of a realistic national action plan for strengthening public health pesticide management practices.
Situation analysis is a process of gathering and analysing information on the existing legal, institutional, administrative and technical infrastructure and available national expertise—across key sectors—to address an identified priority issue. Applied to public health pesticide management, it will provide insight into shortcomings and limitations, as well as potential opportunities and challenges that may be faced in development and execution of an action plan for strengthening such practices. Situation analysis would also reveal potential overlaps and identify relevant existing structures upon which new activities could be built.
These guidelines are addressed to ministries of health and national pesticide regulatory authorities, which should have the overall responsibility of initiating the analysis and the implementation of its outcome. Other national stakeholders whose actions or mandate impact on the effective management of public health pesticides should be involved in this process. These may include other government sectors, the private sector and academia as well as civil society organizations.