This webinar presented by Val Morrison offered a general overview of the concept of wicked problems, particularly as they relate to healthy public policy. This webinar was part of a series of webinars organized by the National Collaborating Centres for Public Health in collaboration with the Public Health Physicians of Canada, it was held on November 26, 2015.

The term ‘wicked problems’ is increasingly used to describe a particularly complex type of problem that is difficult, persistent, and resistant to solution. Frequently encountered in both public health and public policy, wicked problems present a high level of difficulty because, among other things, they are often intertwined with other complex problems. Health inequalities are a good example because they can be linked to a number of other issues such as income, education and/or race and ethnicity, to name a few. These types of problems are not easily solved with traditional approaches and require context-specific actions that take this complexity into account..

Wicked Problems: What Are They and What Can Public Health Do About Them?
44 Slides

In this webinar, participants were introduced to:

  • The origins and usefulness of the concept of wicked problems.
  • How to define wicked problems and distinguish them from other types of problems.
  • The importance of dealing with wicked problems in ways that emphasize collaboration, dialogue, and shared understanding.
  • Resources to learn more about different practical approaches to wicked problems.

Understanding wicked problems can be useful for advancing public health physicians’ competencies in these domains:

  • Policy, planning & program development
  • Communication, collaboration & advocacy for the public’s health
  • Leadership and management

In preparation for this webinar, we invited participants to read a short document entitled: Wicked Problems and Public Policy.

Unfortunately, the recording of the webinar is not available in English, but the French version is available here.

PPT Presentation
44 slides