Individual + Policy, Systems and Environmental Approaches Technical Assistance

Emerging Practice

Individual + Policy, Systems and Environmental Approaches Technical Assistance

State/TerritorySettingPopulationTopic AreaNPMs
CaliforniaCommunityCross-Cutting/System BuildingNutrition & Physical Activity1, 4, 8.1, 8.2, 10

This TA mentored practice uses the I+PSE Conceptual Framework for Action as the starting point for the training that is being proposed (see Figure 1 below). Because of the current obesity epidemic, obesity and obesity prevention initiatives are complex challenges that State health departments are addressing with little financial support to adequately address the issues that arise. There is emerging evidence that supports the role of systems approaches in addressing health challenges such as obesity, and with HEAL approaches. Supporting evidence-based practice, the I+PSE Conceptual Framework for Action is grounded in public health and systems science. Systems science is a transdisciplinary study of the interactions and the degree of those interactions, among components. This includes identifying the intended and unintended consequences of those interactions. It applies theories and models from various sciences (biological, social, economic, environmental) to analyze and solve problems which allows practitioners to formulate multidimensional approaches to effectively solve problems and avoid negative consequences. System change theories and conceptual frameworks form the foundation for systems thinking and systems practice.

The I+PSE Conceptual Framework for Action is inspired by the Spectrum of Prevention model ( and was first presented at the Nutrition Leadership Network (NLN) meeting (Tagtow, 2017). Individual, policy, system, and environmental (I+PSE) change strategies are defined as the following:
• Individual change may include direct services, specifically evidence-based interventions designed for individuals and families that support increased knowledge and positive behaviors.
• Policy change may occur at organization, community, and/or public policy levels, including modifications to procedures or organizational practices, creation of laws, ordinances, resolutions, mandates, regulations, or rules.
• System change results from adjustments to the infrastructure and/or operations that impacts all elements of an organization, institution, or framework. System change may also be result from combined effects of individual, policy, and environmental change.
• Environmental change is the result of modifications to built or natural settings, including physical spaces within organizations, institutions, or public areas. This may also include changes to ecological resources, landscapes, and ecosystems that impact soil, water, climate, biodiversity, and energy.

practice contact information

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
Dena Herman

Project Website