Africa Environment Outlook 3 (AEO 3) - Authors guide





Background to the analytical framework

taking an inventory of existing resources and looking at trends in the recent past at the scale of interest (local, national, sub-regional or regional); and explaining why the observed trends have occurred.

The analytical framework to guide part II authors for the AEO-3 is a hybrid of the Opportunities framework as used in the AEO-2 report and the Drivers-Pressures-State- Exposure-Effects-Actions (DPSEEA) framework commonly used in health and environment assessments.

The DPSEEA Framework

The DPSEEA framework allows for the mapping of a spectrum of environmental health issues. The framework adopts a linear or ‘chain’ approach to mapping environment and health issues from high-level cultural, political Drivers of environmental change to Pressures which modify the physical environment to produce an environment with defined characteristics ( State ). A particular environmental state will impact humans through varying amounts of Exposure resulting in certain health Effects . Societal responses are, in fact, Actions , applied at the Drivers, Pressures, State, Exposure and Effect levels as part of management efforts. The Actions are aimed at reducing the magnitude of the driving forces, the impact of the pressures, alterations to the state of environmental risks, exposure and effects. The DPSEEA framework is shown in Figure 1. From a policy perspective, the Actions or responses can be mapped at any point along the DPSEEA framework chain. The Actions may seek to protect or repair a degraded environment, enhance environmental conservation measures or replicate good practices through lesson-learning. The DPSEEA framework recognizes that whether a particular aspect of the environment (a State) results in an Exposure for the individual and whether that exposure results in a health Effect (positive or negative), is influenced by the context. That context may be demographic, social, behavioural, cultural or genetic; and aspects of the context may also be targets for policy and action to improve the health outcome. The context to a large extent determines a society’s vulnerability and/or risk to environmental change. The CCs and sub-regional authors will ensure context issues and opportunities are adequately reflected in the reporting through contextualized analysis and case studies.

The Opportunities Framework

The Opportunities framework is an improvement of the Drivers-Pressures-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) approach that is widely used in many reporting processes in Africa. The major difference between the two is that the Opportunities framework includes a slant towards the opportunities that the environment provides for development. This approach focuses on looking at the potential opportunities for reducing poverty and promoting sustainable livelihoods. It starts by

Figure 1: Key elements of the DPSEEA Framework Source: Corvalán C, Briggs D, Zielhuis G., (Eds). (2000). Decision-Making in Environmental Health: From Evidence to Action. Geneva, World Health Organization.

The DPSEEA framework

Driving forces e.g. Economic, political, social & institutional


Pressure e.g. Resource depletion, waste release

Mainstream environment and health into economic development. Promote sustainable & equitable patterns of production/consumption. Build capacity to monitor & manage waste & resources. Monitor health; improve personal protection from pollution and infections.

State e.g. Degraded ecosystem services; pollution

Exposure e.g. Exposure and susceptibility to pollution & infections

Treatment; rehabilitation

Effect e.g. Morbidity & mortality


Adapted from Corvalán C, Briggs D, Zielhuis G., eds. (21)

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