Autumn School brings health information and evidence for policy into sharp focus


 “I learned about tools and good practice for narrowing the gap between research and policy-making,” said Dr Aleksandra Vlačić of Serbia’s Ministry of Health, echoing the sentiments of many of the 30 participants from 14 Member States, who took part in the Autumn School on health information and evidence for policy from 20-24 October in Warsaw, Poland. “This course and knowledge of European Health Information could contribute significantly to establishing an Integrated Health Information System in Serbia,” she added.

Practical knowledge and skills

This firm endorsement of the Autumn School, as a course that gives participants practical knowledge and skills to take home at the end of the week, was also expressed by Beata Koń, a specialist from the Department of Analysis and Strategy of Poland’s Ministry of Health. “During this course we have learned a lot and gained knowledge that we can use in our work. You have asked us hard questions and guided us through the systematic assessment process,” she said.

The 30 participants from 14 Member States gave overwhelmingly positive feedback about the five day Autumn School which was hosted by Poland’s Ministry of Health. Participants all work at the interface of data analysis, research/knowledge integration and policy and were able to get practical insights and solutions for improving national health information systems. Such was their enthusiasm that participants prepared an impromptu written petition to the Regional Director requesting an expansion of this course for future years.

Exceeding expectations

Dr Claudia Stein, Director the Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation at the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe said the Autumn School’s second year had once again exceeded expectations.

“The Autumn School was a resounding success and we were again impressed by the commitment of all those who took part. I am convinced that this commitment will translate into real improvements in health information and evidence for policy that will ultimately lead to improvements in health for the people of the European Region. The course is a key implementation platform for the Health 2020 policy and the monitoring of its targets and indicators. We are very grateful to Poland’s Ministry of Health who hosted the event. We look forward to next year when we will be hosted by the Russian Federation.”