Developing countries’ capacity to implement Health 2020

WHO/David Barrett

Public health policy experts from across the WHO European Region, including several former health ministers, assembled on 8–9 January 2014 at WHO/Europe in Copenhagen, Denmark for the first training of consultants on Health 2020, the European policy for health and well-being.

“The creation of a group of accredited WHO Health 2020 consultants, to increase our capacity and meet the high demand from Member States for support and advice, is a very high priority for WHO/Europe,” noted Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, in her opening remarks.

The two-day training established a common understanding among participants of Health 2020’s values and evidence, and of ways to support countries to develop and implement national health policies aligned with Health 2020.

The training included both plenary and group sessions. All sessions were interactive and made use of examples based on different country scenarios. The topics covered included:

  1. identifying and exploring attributes of good policy consultancy (do’s and don’t’s);
  2. navigating and operationalizing key Health 2020 values, concepts and approaches;
  3. using the Health 2020 framework: its two strategic objectives and four priorities for policy action;
  4. identifying opportunities for and obstacles to developing national health policies aligned with Health2020;
  5. introducing the Health 2020 implementation package, and the available tools and services;
  6. describing ways to set up processes for health policy development: identifying the right stakeholders, communicating, developing ownership, ensuring evidence-based approaches and putting information systems in place;
  7. organizing policy dialogues, consultation processes, strategic workshops and multistakeholder debates;
  8. working with local people, including sympathetic listening;
  9. working with the WHO system; and
  10. developing a common understanding of the expected responsibilities of and the support available to consultants.

It is anticipated that the participants will work with countries as WHO Health 2020 consultants over at least the next two years.