Summer School: incubator for bringing Sustainable Development Goals closer to local communities
A Summer School organized by the WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development (Venice, Italy) of the WHO Regional Office for Europe – in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia, the National Institute of Public Health in Slovenia, and the Centre for Health and Development Murska Sobota, Slovenia – has galvanized awareness about and a thorough understanding of the need to bring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) closer to the local communities, as well as the value of doing so. It resulted in the inception of 5 projects to be implemented at the local level.
The Summer School, which took place on 3-4 September 2019 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, was attended by participants from the WHO Regions for Health Network (RHN) and the regions of Lower Austria (Austria), Varna (Bulgaria), Padua (Italy), Kaunas (Lithuania) and Pomurje (Slovenia).
5 projects on improving sustainable development at the local level
Following interactive workshops and an overview of key accelerators, such as communications to ensure the involvement of vulnerable people and overall flexibility, the participants were motivated to thinking more locally and putting more emphasis on the analysis of the social and economic impacts of their actions within the health system. As a result, the concepts of 5 projects were developed for implementation at the local level:
- a common research project about the impacts of health systems on local communities;
- the establishment of a kindergarten for children of pediatricians;
- a review on how to ensure locally produced food for hospitals in Slovenia;
- a research project on how to make local projects more sustainable;
- a study on how to ensure that patients in border regions have a voice.
Annual summer schools
The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia, the National Institute of Public Health of Slovenia and the Centre for Health and Development Murska Sobota organize summer schools each year on a range of public health topics linked to timely issues relevant to regions. The 2018 Summer School focused on primary health care in the light of the Global Conference on Primary Health Care (Astana, Kazakhstan, October 2018).
The full workshop report and presentations are published in on the Centre for Health and Development Murska Sobota website.
Since 2009, the WHO collaborating centre for cross-sectoral approaches to health and development, Centre for health and development Murska Sobota, has been organizing public health summer schools and short training sessions with the aim of increasing capacity to understand, measure and act on inequalities in health and the social determinants of health in central, eastern and south-eastern Europe.