- Summary of the research

Climate change is now widely considered to be one of the most important public health challenges of the 21st century. It requires action both within the formal health system and intersectoral action to manage the environmental determinants of health. National governments have expressed the need for increased evidence-based action in this field. In addition, peer-reviewed research output is increasing rapidly both in absolute terms and in comparison with other health fields.

One of the core functions of the WHO is to propose evidence-based policy options, shape the research agenda and stimulate the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge. WHO has worked with research leaders to elaborate research needs, and define research agendas for national jurisdictions, or for individual agencies. In order to continue promoting and guiding a generation of high quality and policy-relevant research, the WHO is using a structured method that has been applied to other fields of public health. It has been done in order to gather the views of different categories of stakeholders, such as researchers, programme managers and advocates, on the links between climate change and health.

The overall objectives of the exercise are:

  1. To assess the degree of consensus on priority research areas within the field of climate change and health.
  1. To formulate a series of clear, answerable and policy-relevant research questions under each of the main headings.
  1. To facilitate formulation of evidence-based policy options for the public health response to climate change, by defining a prioritized list of research questions that could support this goal.

The results of the exercise will be published as a WHO report. They will be made available as a resource to guide, for example, global, regional and national agencies in developing research agendas, and serve as a benchmark in assessing future progress in research in this field. They will therefore contribute to the wider objective of evidence-based health policy.

The exercise consists of three phases.

In this first phase, respondents are requested to provide scores on the importance, practicality and policy relevance of research on different pathways through which climate change links to health.

In a second phase, respondents are requested to propose priority research questions under the specific headings for which they particular interest and expertise.

Following a synthesis of submitted research questions by the team conducting the exercise, respondents will be contacted for a third time to provide a prioritization ranking of the proposed research questions.

The public consultation covers research in the following areas:

- Overall priority setting


You can contribute to this survey through the survey link below:

- Research priority setting exercise: Health and Climate Change Agenda 2015-2025.


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Last modified on July 2 2013.