Network for Ecohealth and One Health (NEOH) – European Chapter of EcoHealth International
“We envision a world where people, animals and the environment are recognised as being interconnected; and transdisciplinary, systems thinking methods, and integrated approaches are universally practiced for understanding, maintaining and improving the health of all.”
We claim that One Health should consider the three pillars of sustainability, namely society, environment and economy, and use methods and data from multiple disciplines to promote effective collaboration, learning and knowledge integration.
NEOH recognises that complex global health challenges like food security, sustainability and health for people, animals and the environment require a participatory and transdisciplinary process based on systems thinking.
Leadership and Working Groups
NEOH is currently chaired by Dr Thomas Jaenisch (University of Heidelberg, Germany), email: thomas.jaenisch[at]uni-heidelberg.de with the co-chair Dr Sara Savic (Scientific Veterinary Institute “Novi Sad”, Novi Sad, Serbia), email: sara[at]niv.ns.ac.rs).
They are supported by the secretary Dr Gabrielle Laing (the United Kingdom), email: g.laing[at]schisto.org.uk and the treasurer Dr Lisa Crump (Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute/University of Basel, Switzerland), email: lisa.crump[at]swisstph.ch .
NEOH has six working groups – for further information, please contact the working group leaders directly:
- Promoting Transdisciplinarity in Health Sciences (lead by Luís Pedro Carmo, University of Bern, Switzerland, email: gomesdocarmo[at]vetsuisse.unibe.ch): As the scientific body of knowledge grows larger and the specificity with each field becomes deeper, fighting siloed thinking becomes imperious in order not to lose sight of the big picture. This gains a greater relevance in the health sector, considering the complexity of the problems we face and the web of connections between humans, animals and the environment. Despite the potential positive impact of transdisciplinary approaches, their implementation is not without barriers. This NEOH working group aims at fostering the use of transdisciplinarity in health sciences.
|Luis Pedro Carmo|
- NEOH Communication and Collaboration (lead by Zoran Katrinka, Foundation For Research and Development – Program for Ecohealth, Novi Sad, Serbia; email: zoran.katrinka[at]gmail.com): This working group focuses on internal and external communication with the aim to promote effective dissemination, exchange, networking, engagement and learning. It discusses and defines various target audiences and their needs (e.g. researchers, decision-makers, NGOs; internal to NEOH or external); maintains a variety of communication channels in line with the target audience including a range of social media and research networking channels such as twitter, facebook and researchgate; disseminates NEOH activities, outputs and outcomes; manages a document repository for NEOH; and identifies opportunities for online and offline communication. Moreover, the Working Group facilitates the shaping of the NEOH goals, vision and mission to provide a foundation upon which to build future activities in a coherent way.
- NEOH Learning Organization (lead by Simon Rüegg, University of Zurich, Switzerland, email: srueegg[at]vetclinics.uzh.ch): A distinguishing characteristic of the «Network for Evaluation of One Health» was its creativity and openness to new ideas. The awareness of «a bigger world out there» paired with impartial curiosity and solid scientific method became the driving force of the evolving network. Therefore, the Learning Organisation Working Group aims at establishing NEOH as an organic, adaptive institution. It seeks to outline principles of operation, such as embedding of emerging «interest groups» within NEOH, communication between and within groups, the role of the managing committee and other bodies of NEOH towards groups, Ecohealth International, other chapters and further stakeholders (public, governments etc.). The principal aim is to orient the NEOH community towards new, self-organising purposes as the field of Ecohealth and One Health evolves.
- Incorporating a Gender Dimension into One Health and Ecohealth – Gender at the Nexus of Nature and Health (lead by Julie Garnier, Odyssey Conservation Trust, France, email: julie.garnier[at]odysseyconservationtrust.com): As an interdisciplinary group of experienced health researchers and conservationists, our work focuses on gender issues at the nexus of health and nature within a One Health approach. Looking at the interconnected drivers and impacts of biodiversity loss, climate change, food insecurity, emerging diseases and other health challenges through a gender lens, we find that a gender-responsive and human-rights-based One Health approach is needed to protect nature, improve health and well-being and prevent threats emerging at the Human/Animal/Environment interface. Our mission is therefore to promote such an approach among multiple stakeholders (policy makers, international institutions, businesses, academics, NGOs, civil society) through capacity building, research, awareness raising, education and policy making. Our experts are available for consultancy work, collaborations and advice on Gender, One Health and Biodiversity.
- Theoretical Dimension of One Health and ecohealth (lead by Thomas Jaenisch, University of Heidelberg, Germany, email: thomas.jaenisch[at]uni-heidelberg.de): The primary focus of this working group is the investigation of the underlying epistemology and scientific concepts of One Health and Ecohealth as a systems approach to Ecology and Health. The concept of health is employed beyond human or animal populations to ecosystems in a holistic approach. The group discusses indicators of ecology and health with the aim to analyse the suitability of candidate composite indicators and investigates their underlying assumptions and values. This work makes a contribution to interdisciplinary metrics which can form part of research, monitoring, and evaluation efforts.
- Education in One Health and ecohealth (lead by Sara Savic, Scientific Veterinary Institute, Novi Sad, Serbia; email: sara[at]niv.ns.ac.rs): The educational working group aims to provide a range of educational offers on One Health topics for school children, undergraduate and postgraduate students, practitioners, researchers or decision-makers at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Topics may include a) One Health in general, b) One Health perspectives specific to a particular issue or situation, c) examples of One Health in practice, d) technical aspects, and e) evaluation of One Health. By offering both online and physical training, we hope to help bridge the substantial gaps in One Health education currently seen in different countries. Our One Health and education experts in NEOH can be contacted for consultancy services or advice on education, training and capacity building.
NEOH DECLARATION ON ONE HEALTH AND ECOHEALTH
We strive for the implementation of the NEOH declaration on One Health and ecohealth.
Before and during the 2018 NEOH conference in Bologna entitled “Creating Impact for One Health and ecohealth; advancements in implementation, evaluation and governance”, consortium members and other interested people were invited to share their future vision of One Health and ecohealth. Their responses were distilled into the NEOH declaration on One Health and ecohealth.
From the “Network for Evaluation of One Health” to the “Network for Ecohealth and One Health”
Between 2014 and 2018 the COST funded Action “Network for Evaluation of One Health” (NEOH) brought together more than 250 researchers, practitioners, decision-makers and other stakeholders with an interest in One Health and evaluation. They shared a vision to develop and use methods and frameworks for improved decision making on complex health issues.
The Network for Evaluation of One Health was successful in many aspects, one being the development of new and strong working relationships between many of the people involved in One Health in Europe. To further these relationships, we established a new organisation to continue NEOH’s journey and to invite interested people to join and contribute to a respectful, inclusive dialogue on One Health and ecohealth.
Over the last years, we have observed an increasing convergence of ecohealth and One Health: with shared values and approaches of the two concepts, especially in the areas of zoonoses, disease emergence, pandemic threats and ecosystem health.
Therefore, NEOH joined Ecohealth International and became its European Chapter in 2019 with the name “Network for Ecohealth and One Health”. The purpose and goals of Ecohealth International and the ecosystem approach to health closely aligns with ours. We aim to enhance existing and form new working relationships on a global scale and create a united community of practice for One Health and ecohealth in Europe.
NEOH activities and achievements
The Network for Evaluation of One Health / Network for Ecohealth and One Health
- Developed a new evaluation approach and validated it by applying it to a suite of international case studies
- Published this approach in multiple journal publications including a special research topic in Frontiers journal entitled Concepts and experiences in framing, integration and evaluation of One Health and EcoHealth and an open access Handbook for the evaluation of One Health and other integrated approaches to health published by Wageningen Academic Publishers
- Assessed the characteristics of existing One Health initiatives in a meta-study
- Offered training, learning and capacity building for evaluation of integrated approaches to health
- Works on stakeholder engagement to promote informed decision-making and resource allocation in One Health
- Brings together interested people together for knowledge exchange, joint learning, discussion and research
- Contributes to advancement of One Health and ecohealth approaches and their integration
- Provides a platform for continued dialogue, engagement and networking from which spin-off activities emerge, such as new research collaborations
NEOH demonstrated that One Health is clearly aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We were the first to provide protocols that can be used to assess the degree of One Health (termed One Health-ness) in interdisciplinary initiatives and compare it to One Health outcomes. This information was then used in statistical analyses to produce an objective typology of One Health initiatives that allows their classification into a specific type characterised in terms of context, health issue addressed, objective, actions implemented, and impact, among others.
“The NEOH handbook provides a seminal interdisciplinary take on One Health, which allows practitioners, evaluators and decision makers from all disciplines to discover new perspectives on health and think about it in a systemic way”.
“We hope to inspire an open-minded reflection on integrated approaches to health and their evaluation and to encourage interested people to join NEOH and make a contribution to the advancement of the field for the benefit of humans, animals and ecosystems”
How to join NEOH
You must first register as a member of Ecohealth International. Click on the membership tab and fill in the form for (individual) membership.
Please register your interest with the Network for Ecohealth and One Health (i.e. the European Chapter of Ecohealth International) by contacting the secretary Dr Gabrielle Laing: g.laing[at]schisto.org.uk
NEOH Twitter account: @NEOH_org
NEOH research gate link: https://www.researchgate.net/project/Network-for-Ecohealth-and-One-Health-NEOH