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NCCDH Environmental Scans

What is an environmental scan? 

An environmental scan is a forward-looking instrument of discovery that is used to synthesize knowledge, inform decision making, and support organizational and system change. 

The environmental scanning process has its roots in the business sector.  However, environmental scans have been used in the health and public health sectors for many years.   


NCCDH environmental scans  

The NCCDH has regularly engaged in environmental scanning since 2010. Past scans are an important contribution to the collective knowledge base on public health and health equity action. They directly inform NCCDH projects and larger strategic planning for NCCDH and other valued partners. 

Past NCCDH environmental scans and related materials are available in our Resource Library: 


Current environmental scan

The NCCDH is currently engaged in an environmental scan to identify opportunities to support, lead and influence transformative public health action to address the structural and social determinants of health.  

The current environmental scan explores the following questions:  

  1. What is the current context and experience of the Canadian public health community (at all levels) related to addressing the structural and social determinants of health?  
  2. What knowledge gaps exist about public health roles and action to address the structural and social determinants of health?

  3. What are the roles for the NCCDH to support public health action to address the structural and social determinants of health?   


To engage with the Canadian public health community, the NCCDH will use a tailored, multi-component approach, including a scoping review of the literature (completed), an online survey (completed) and a variety of strategic conversations (in progress). An analysis of the information gathered will be shared with the public health community, including partners and collaborators. 

We want to hear from Canadian public health practitioners, researchers, decision makers, policymakers and partners/collaborators at all levels. How are you taking action, and how can we better support your work? 

Share your ideas and perspectives in our national environmental scan. 

If you would like to hear about further opportunities for engagement in this project and other NCCDH initiatives, sign up for our mailing list.