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Disease Prevention and Control / Communicable Diseases / Malaria

Guidelines on Situation Analysis for Public Health Pesticide Management

(WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme / WHOPES, 2005)

WHOPES Pesticide Guide

Full Text (44 pp, PDF)
1. Introduction
2. Objective of the guidelines
3. Methodology for a situation analysis on public health pesticide management

3.1 Scope of the analysis
3.2 Identifying core information required

3.2.1 Assessment of the legislative control of public health pesticides
3.2.2 Assessment of other chemical-related legal instruments that are relevant to the management of public health pesticides
3.2.3 Assessment of vector and public health pest management
3.2.4 Assessment of activities by research institutions, industry and civil society organizations in the management of public health pesticides Research institutions Industry (pesticide and application equipment) Civil society organizations
3.2.5 Assessment of participation in international conventions and agreements related to pesticide management
3.2.6 Assessment of other relevant pesticide management activities Pesticide poisoning Public education Collaboration with international, regional or bilateral organizations/countries on pesticide (including public health pesticide) management Information exchange/ consultation Formulation and repackaging Pesticide storage and waste management, including disposal
3.2.7 Assessment of financial resources available and required for public health pesticide management
3.2.8 Assessment of other relevant information
3.3 Process methodology
3.3.1 Establishment of a task force responsible for the analysis
3.3.2 Identification of stakeholders/partners
3.3.3 Development of a stakeholder involvement plan
3.3.4 Selection of experts to perform the analysis
3.3.5 Identification of key information providers
3.4 Analysis of information collected and report writing
Annex 1: Core information required
Useful references

- Other WHOPES Resources
- PAHO Malaria Page

Objective of the Guidelines

The objective of this document is to provide guidance in the performance of a situation analysis aimed at identifying the weaknesses, strengths and needs for strengthening a country's public health pesticide management practices. It identifies the key steps in the planning process and outlines a methodology for such analysis. It provides:

  1. A scope of the analysis
  2. Core information to be obtained
  3. The process methodology to be followed, including:
    • establishment of a task force responsible for the " analysis;
    • identification of stakeholders/partners;
    • development of a stakeholder involvement plan;
    • selection of experts to perform the analysis;
    • identification of key sectors/informants;
    • analysis of information and report writing.


The use of pesticides is an important component in the integrated approach to control vectors and pests of public health importance. Effective management of these public health pesticides has become an increasingly important priority for Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) as a result of the dwindling arsenal of safe and cost-effective pesticides and the growing challenges arising from their management under decentralized health systems. The increasing use of pesticides by individuals and communities for personal protection and vector control is a further challenge to pesticide management.

Pesticide management involves the regulatory control, proper handling, supply, transport, storage, application, use and waste management and disposal of pesticides to minimize adverse environmental effects and human exposure. WHO Guidelines on the management of public health pesticides1 promote pesticide management practices that minimize health and environmental risk, as well as promoting judicious use of the pesticides. The guidelines are intended to assist Member States with sound management of public health pesticides and the implementation of the International code of conduct on the distribution and use of pesticides.2

Public health pesticides include vector control pesticides, household insecticides and professional pest management pesticides. While the majority of Member States have legislation for the control of agricultural pesticides, a significant number of countries have yet to establish such regulations for public health pesticides.3 Cost-effective and optimized use of limited national resources for effective regulation and management of pesticides (agricultural as well as public health pesticides) is a challenge that requires priority action by most Member States.

Increasing concern over the environmental impacts of pesticide use, as evidenced by multilateral environmental agreements such as the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants,4 also denotes the urgent need for capacity strengthening for effective management of public health pesticides.

While significant steps have been taken by Member States in recent years to improve pesticide management practices, major weaknesses still exist, predominantly in developing countries. Situation analysis is the crucial first step in needs assessment and the development and execution of a realistic national action plan for strengthening public health pesticide management practices.

Situation analysis is a process of gathering and analysing information on the existing legal, institutional, administrative and technical infrastructure and available national expertise—across key sectors—to address an identified priority issue. Applied to public health pesticide management, it will provide insight into shortcomings and limitations, as well as potential opportunities and challenges that may be faced in development and execution of an action plan for strengthening such practices. Situation analysis would also reveal potential overlaps and identify relevant existing structures upon which new activities could be built.

These guidelines are addressed to ministries of health and national pesticide regulatory authorities, which should have the overall responsibility of initiating the analysis and the implementation of its outcome. Other national stakeholders whose actions or mandate impact on the effective management of public health pesticides should be involved in this process. These may include other government sectors, the private sector and academia as well as civil society organizations.

1 Guidelines on the management of public health pesticides. Report of the WHO Interregional Consultation, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 25–28 February 2003 (draft). Geneva, World Health Organization, 2003 (WHO/CDS/WHOPES/2003.7).
2 International code of conduct on the distribution and use of pesticides (revised version). Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2003.
3 Public health pesticide management practices by WHO Member States. Report of a survey 2003 2004. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2004 (WHO/CDS/WHOPES/GCDPP/2004.7).
4 Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants. Geneva, United Nations Environment Programme, 2001.

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