An effective approach to solving environmental health problems is collaborative problem-solving, or CPS. CPS enables stakeholders in environmental health to work together to address the challenges they encounter. Collaborative problem-solving promotes the reconciliation of divergent ideas, suggestions and interests on myriad issues that would otherwise be quite complicated if dealt with on an individual basis.
Environmental health challenges have deep roots making them quite difficult to resolve. However, with collaboration, concerted effort and active participation by stakeholders, even the most difficult of problems are solved with reduced effort and at lower costs, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When all individuals and organizational stakeholders are incorporated and solutions sought together, a collective vision and mission are created. In addition, collaboration in solving environmental health issues reflects and results in mutually beneficial goals and outcomes.
The other strengths of CPS are favorable conditions for resource mobilization and realization of stronger and enduring solutions. The key elements of an effective CPS are strategic and proactive community-based and community-focused processes. These processes must incorporate governments, local communities, relevant industries and their stakeholders and scholars. The other element of CPS is negotiation, which fosters the designing and development of common goals.