South-eastern Europe Health Network shines spotlight on health information

WHO/Atnan Hyka

South-eastern European countries are supporting each other to strengthen the evidence that underpins policy. The countries of the South-eastern Europe Health Network met in Tirana, Albania on 16–17 November 2015 to discuss improving information for policy, and the report of the meeting has just been published. The report covers discussion of the countries' common issues in health information and the development of a joint vision on how to address these concerns. Participants acknowledged the substantial benefits of establishing a health information network and will meet in 2016 to consider establishing one.

The meeting, convened by WHO/Europe, provided a valuable forum for networking, and sharing experience and expertise in health information among senior national health information experts, leaders and decision-makers.

Dr Claudia Stein, Director of the Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation said, "It has been extremely productive to bring together individuals who play a critical role in promoting capacity building, knowledge improvement in health information systems and systems of civil registration and vital statistics. The participants at this meeting are in a unique position to strengthen health information in their home countries and I hope they will return home inspired, knowing that WHO/Europe is committed to providing technical and strategic support wherever required."

The report addressed:

  • health information as a support for decision-making
  • strengthening health information systems
  • national and international reporting and data quality
  • support tools for health information strategy development
  • civil registration and vital statistic systems in the subregion and their improvement
  • migration registration and statistics
  • health information networks and the potential for regional approaches.