John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Training in environmental health for local elected officials: a pilot project in the Rhône-Alpes region Volume 15, issue 2, March-April 2016



1 Centre Léon-Bérard
Département Cancer Environnement
28, rue Laennec
69008 Lyon
2 Université Claude-Bernard Lyon 1
43, boulevard du 11-Novembre-1918
69622 Villeurbanne cedex
3 Association réseau environnement santé
Maison des associations du 10e
206, quai-de-Valmy
75010 Paris
4 Association réseau environnement santé Rhône-Alpes
9, quai Jean Moulin
69001 Lyon
* Tirés à part
  • Key words: public policy, needs assessment, continuing education, environmental health, environment and public health, France
  • DOI : 10.1684/ers.2016.0841
  • Page(s) : 135-52
  • Published in: 2016

National and regional plans and programs and environmental conferences work to study and deal with the many effects of the environment on public health. Among the many issues that directly concern local and regional elected officials, the field of environmental health and its accompanying responsibilities are often the most difficult to understand.

To improve their knowledge and develop training in this field, the Rhône-Alpes Regional Council, ARS Rhône-Alpes and DREAL Rhône-Alpes supported a pilot program to educate elected officials, developed and implemented by the Léon Bérard Regional Cancer Centre and the Environmental Health Network association. It was conducted in two parts: 1) a study to better understand stakeholders’ expectations and needs, based on 24 individual interviews, and an anonymous self-administered questionnaire sent to a sample of 338 elected officials in the Rhône-Alpes region, drawn from the list of 3379 in the region; 2) developing and conducting a pilot training day.

The results highlighted a marked interest among these elected officials in environmental health and confirmed their need for training: they feel insufficiently informed about it (70%), do not know the regional environmental health action plan (almost 100%), feel very concerned with the topic (82%), but consider that it is inadequately considered in local politics (79%).

This pilot study provides additional arguments and proposals to develop training in environmental health for elected officials; they are key political decision-makers and are in close contact with the public.