Wicked Problems and Public Policy
This fact sheet defines the essential features of wicked problems and discusses how they might be addressed.
Published in June 2013. DescriptionDownload  555 K

Wicked problems are particularly complex, persistent and hard-to-resolve. They are commonly encountered in public policy work, and notably within the public health sector. Wicked problems defy the usual linear approaches and are not amenable to straightforward solutions. One of the reasons they are particularly difficult to resolve is because they are usually intertwined with other complex issues. Health inequalities, for example, may be tied to a multitude of issues such as poverty, education, race/ethnicity or gender.

This fact sheet defines the essential features of wicked problems, differentiates them from other kinds of problem, and discusses how they might be addressed.


Wicked problems and public policy
5 pages
 555 K


   Image - cover page of the document - click to download  

You might also be interested in the following presentation on wicked problems: “Tackling Wicked Problems in the Built Environment: Of Health Inequalities and Bedbugs”.
To read the presentation, click here.

The production of the NCCHPP website has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada.