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A Whole Systems Approach

A Whole systems approach

We live in a complex, messy world where our health is affected by numerous social, economic and environmental interactions. To address modern public health challenges, such as obesity, air pollution, reducing teen pregnancies and alcohol-related harm, we must find ways to understand and influence the numerous interconnected factors that affect our lives.

A whole systems approach is the most promising way to help us make a step change in the way we address such issues. Using systems thinking to look at, learn about and understand complex situations, a whole systems approach:

·         Responds to complexity through an ongoing, dynamic and flexible way of working

·         Enables stakeholders to come together and share an understanding of the reality of the challenge and consider how the system is operating

·         Identifies the greatest opportunities for change

·         Generates sustainable change by stakeholders agreeing actions and deciding as a network how to work together in an integrated way

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