By personal invitation, Clive Needle, Bosse Pettersson and David Pattisson participated in the facilitated meeting organised at WHO EURO Copenhagen by the Regional Director to discuss establishment of a group of ''consultants'' to support countries in implementation of the Health 2020 strategic framework approach and its policy components (see here).
Described as an innovative public health policy for Europe since its inception and mandated by the Regional Committee of 53 member states, Health 2020 is the encompassing framework in which specific country requests for guidance and support will be addressed. The meeting considered specific actions needed during the new biennium 2014-15, after which the regional committee will review progress and also a new term of office for the regional director will begin. An initial group of 30 potential consultants were briefed and consulted on a non-attributable basis by a similar number of senior WHO officials. A further ''call'' for more accredited consultants in specialist fields will be held later in 2014.
EuroHealthNet is of course already involved in elements of the action plan to strengthen public health services and this was consolidated in side meetings with the responsible officials. Further information will be sent concerning concrete actions proposed on communications and capacity building in 2014, primarily in the SEEHN states with which EuroHealthNet has an existing partnership agreement, and potentially in some of the 23 states which have specific bilateral country agreements (BCAs) with WHO concerning detailed needs.
Beyond that, there was positive discussion in groups and plenaries of many issues in which EuroHealthNet is active, particularly capacity building at all levels, equity and governance. While many practical details, including resources, were not fully discussed at the meeting, the intention is to respond to country requests with teams of officials and consultants working on missions and through various processes such as policy dialogues, policy reviews, training sessions, multi stakeholder engagement and consultation and technical guidance where appropriate.
While EuroHealthNet does not work in all 53 WHO EURO states, it can clearly play a supportive and advocacy role in several contexts to help engagement of its participants where there are mutual interests and for the common good, as the principles and objectives of Health 2020 are synergistic with the EuroHealthNet strategic development plan to 2020. One request is that support is given in terms of advocating for links with and use of the growing online resources within the Health 2020 framework, ranging from evidence and statistical databases, technical and policy briefs, reports and guidance on social determinants, public health and governance. This can be done within the new approach for its online resources that EuroHealthNet will implement in 2014.
Other matters will be negotiated for possible inclusion in the Business Plan and Annual Meeting agenda subject to capacities, resource availability and other factors. Clive Needle had several informal meetings with WHO officials and others and will follow up by informing them in more detail of the elements and synergies within the strategic plan and business plan, and will discuss opportunities with the Executive Council and secretariat in February.
Further information from EuroHealthNet's Policy and Advocacy Director Clive Needle