SDT Discussion Guides

28 Discussion Guides have been developed to help NPHIs determine their maturity in priority areas and identify areas for improvement. Each of the 28 Discussion Guides has the same structure: 4 stages (Basic, Developing, Advanced, and Leading Edge), including 6 Domains per stage (Strategic Direction, Systems, Resources, Quality, Engagement, and Impact). 

The Discussion Guides are based on a maturity model or the idea that for a given topic, NPHIs exhibit different levels of maturity or development. By providing examples of what these maturity stages look like, Discussion Guides facilitate conversations that help participants clarify their NPHI’s current state, desired state, and major gaps that need to be addressed to move to their ideal state 

For a listing of discussion guides in Spanish, Portuguese, and French, click here.


Each of the 28 Discussion Guides has the same structure: 4 stages, including 6 Domains per stage.

Internal-Facing Discussion Guides

External- Facing Discussion Guides

1. Planning

12. Population Health Status (Assessment and Reporting)

2. Leadership and Management

13. Management of Public Health Information

3. Health and Safety

14. Health Communication

4. Laboratory Safety

15. Laboratory Reference and Diagnostic Services, and Support for Quality Improvement

5. Human Resources (HR) Management

16. Surveillance

6. Staff Development

17. Surveillance for Acute Public Health Problems, Including Infectious Diseases

7. Management of Organizational Information

18. Sentinel Surveillance

8. Internal Communication

19. Reporting of Acute Public Health Events

9. External Communication about the NPHI and its Activities

20. Investigation of Acute Public Health Events

10. Information Technology (IT)

21. Emergency Preparedness and Response

11. Financial Management

22. Implementation of International Health Regulations (IHR)

23. Data-to-Action

24. Strategic Data Collection and Analysis

25. Development of Public Health Recommendations

26. Uptake of Public Health Recommendations

27. Public Health Workforce Development

28. Public Health Research

 Internal-Facing Discussion Guides

Topic

Definition

Notes

File (PDF Only)

Strategy and Direction

1. Planning

Planning is an organization's process of defining its vision, mission, and goals, and how it will achieve them. It includes decisions about getting and allocating resources to achieve the elements of its plan.

 

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Leadership

2. Leadership and Management

 

Effective leadership and management skills help the NPHI achieve its vision, mission, and goals. This Guide addresses both the leadership and management capacity in the NPHI, in recognition that leaders and managers frequently fill both roles.

 

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Human Resources

3. Health and Safety

 

Health and safety includes identifying and preventing workplace hazards, reducing accidents and exposure to harmful situations and substances (both physical and mental), training staff on health and safety measures, and ensuring the work environment meets established standards for occupational safety and health.

See also Discussion Guide 4

 

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4. Laboratory Safety

Laboratory safety includes ensuring that risk to workers for exposure to hazardous substances and organisms is minimized and that systems are in place to rapidly address safety concerns that arise.

See also Discussion Guide 3

 
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5. Human Resources (HR) Management

Managing HR involves systems to hire and terminate staff, manage staff performance, and support staff so they can contribute to the NPHI’s mission and goals.

 

 
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6. Staff Development

Staff development refers to supporting staff to advance their skills or expertise, so they have successful careers and maximize their contributions to the NPHI.

 

 
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Administration and Operations

7. Management of Organizational Information

Organizational knowledge management is the capture, management, and sharing of internally-focused information, such as human resources and financial policies and data that the organization needs to function efficiently and effectively.

Discussion Guide 13 addresses the NPHI’s ability to ensure that important data and information are accessible and useful for internal audiences.


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8. Internal Communication

Internal communication is the sharing of information within an organization, and the strategy, tools, and channels for sharing that information.


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External Relations

9. External Communication about the NPHI and its Activities

External communication is the sharing of information about the NPHI and its activities with external audiences.

Discussion Guide 13 addresses external communications related to informing stakeholders and others about research findings, public health recommendations, etc.

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Information Technology 

10. Information Technology (IT)

IT refers to the NPHI’s use of technology for management of the NPHI and to achieve its mission and goals.

 

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 Financial Management

11. Financial Management

Financial management includes establishing strong financial accountability and ensuring good stewardship of fiscal resources.

 

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 External-Facing Discussion Guides

Topic

Definition

Notes

File (PDF Only)

Sharing of Data and Information

12. Population Health Status (Assessment and Reporting)

 

Population health status includes generating accurate, periodic “snapshot” reports of the population's health, including that of various sub-populations.

 

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13. Management of Public Health Information

 

Effective leadership and management skills help the NPHI achieve its vision, mission, and goals. This Guide addresses both the leadership and management capacity in the NPHI, in recognition that leaders and managers frequently fill both roles.

Discussion Guide 9 addresses the sharing of information about the NPHI and its activities with external audiences.

 

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14. Health Communication

 

Health communication involves providing health information to various audiences through multiple channels to increase awareness and change behaviors.

 

 

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Laboratory  

15. Laboratory Reference and Diagnostic Services, and Support for Quality Improvement

 

Laboratory reference and diagnostic services refers to the ability of the NPHI to receive and test specimens and report results. Support for laboratory quality improvement includes promoting and conducting programs that improve and ensure quality at the NPHI and throughout the country.

 

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Surveillance, Preparedness, and Response

Note: Discussion Guide ‘16. Surveillance’ is an overarching Discussion Guide. Guides 17-18 provide more details on subsets of topics covered in Guide 16.

16. Surveillance

 

Public health surveillance is the continuous, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data.

See also Discussion Guides 17 and 18.

 

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17. Surveillance for Acute Public Health Problems, Including Infectious Diseases

Surveillance for acute public health problems, including infectious diseases, involves ongoing and timely collection of data, analysis, and feedback to those providing the data.

See also Discussion Guides 16.

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18. Sentinel Surveillance

Sentinel surveillance refers to the establishment of systems to collect high-quality data about cases of a particular disease that cannot be obtained through a passive system.

See also Discussion Guides 16.

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19. Reporting of Acute Public Health Events

Reporting of acute public health events ensures that the NPHI is aware of acute public health events (defined in the notes section). It includes systems at the NPHI for receiving reports and ensuring they are transmitted to those in the NPHI responsible for follow-up.

For purposes of this Guide, acute public health events are those that require rapid action, for example, to prevent further cases, limit the impact (e.g., of a chemical spill), or draw conclusions that will lead to prevention in the future.

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20. Investigation of Acute Public Health Events

Investigation of acute public health events involves confirming an event, determining its causes, and identifying ways to stop the event and prevent future similar occurrences.

For purposes of this Guide, acute public health events are those that require rapid action, for example, to prevent further cases, limit impact (e.g., of a chemical spill); or draw conclusions that will lead to prevention in the future.

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21. Emergency Preparedness and Response

Emergency preparedness and response involves planning, mobilizing resources and working with other organizations to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies.

 

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22. Implementation of International Health Regulations (IHR)

IHR implementation involves fulfilling the NPHI’s responsibilities under the IHR.

 

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Data-to-Action

Note: Discussion Guide ‘23. Data-to-Action’ is an overarching Discussion Guide. Guides 24-26 provide more detail on subsets of topics in Guide 23.

Note: For purposes of the Guides related to Data-to-Action (Guides 23-26), the following definitions are used:

• Stakeholders: Groups and individuals with an interest, involvement, or investment in the NPHIs recommendations.

• Decision-makers: A subset of stakeholders who can be expected to use the NPHI’s recommendations to make policy or program changes in an organization

or component of an organization. This group could include MOH officials; other agency directors; directors of provincial, state, or local agencies; leaders in NGOs, etc.

• Partners: A subset of stakeholders whose relationship with the NPHI is characterized by mutual cooperation and responsibility.

23. Data-to-Action

Data-to-Action refers to the use of scientific information and other evidence to inform policies and programs. It includes synthesizing information from multiple sources to develop persuasive recommendations, and providing these recommendations in formats and through channels that will maximize uptake. The NPHI may use existing data, recommendations from other groups, or expert opinion; and sometimes the NPHI will collect and analyze data to support data-to-action efforts.

See also Discussion Guides 24-26.

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24. Strategic Data Collection and Analysis

Strategic data collection and analysis involves deciding what data are needed to influence policy and programs; matching the type of data collection (e.g., survey, surveillance, research) to the policy needs; and implementing data collection and analysis in ways that will impact public health.

See also Discussion Guides 23.

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25. Development of Public Health Recommendations

Development of public health recommendations involves synthesizing information and creating summary documents that describe the evidence, options, and recommendations.

See also Discussion Guides 23.

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26. Uptake of Public Health Recommendations

Increasing uptake of policy and program recommendations involves implementing strategies to encourage decision-makers to use the NPHI’s recommendations.

See also Discussion Guides 23.

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Public Health Workforce 

27. Public Health Workforce Development

Public health workforce development means working to address gaps in public health workforce numbers, distribution, and skills.

Issues related to staff development at the NPHI are covered in the Guide on Staff Development.

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Public Health Research

28. Public Health Research

 

Public health research refers to the conducting of studies designed to answer critical questions related to public health and to find innovative solutions to public health problems.

 

 

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