Achieving better health for all in Slovenia

On 30 March 2016 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the National Institute of Public Health organized a conference on a community-based approach to support and meet the health needs of local populations. The conference was one of the final activities within the project Towards Better Health and Reducing Inequalities in Health – Together Towards Health.

Conference aim and goals

The aim of the conference was to present a community-based approach and social activation, and to demonstrate good practice examples of the cooperation between various experts, institutions and nongovernmental organizations in order to improve the inclusion of vulnerable groups in the health and social care systems.

The conference had 4 goals.

  1. Identify key approaches and structures, which enable more effective inclusion of vulnerable groups.
  2. Promote closer cooperation of the health and social care systems with the aim of developing joint priorities for health promotion, reducing inequalities in health and improving social security.
  3. Support decision-makers in planning systemic measures.
  4. Plan starting points for the dissemination and financing of the model for integrated chronic noncommunicable disease prevention and reduction of inequalities in health, using funds from the operational programme.

Alignment with Health 2020

The focus of the conference was well aligned with the WHO European policy framework Health 2020 and its strategic objectives: improving health for all and reducing health inequalities; and improving leadership and participatory governance for health.

Whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches were discussed, as well as 1 of the 4 main priorities: creating resilient communities and supportive environments. Ms Chris Brown, Programme Manager, Division of Policy and Governance for Health and Well-being at WHO/Europe, gave a keynote presentation on achieving better health for all: evidence and approaches to participation and engagement.

Conference outcomes

2 keys messages arose from the conference on the positive impact of using participatory approaches firstly in enabling citizens to overcome adversity, and secondly by improving the impact of public services for vulnerable populations.

Lessons from the project highlighted the need to mainstream participatory approaches in all government policies and services. The country's newly endorsed national health strategy provides a perfect opportunity for this in the health sector.

Strong engagement and close collaboration of different sectors are needed to improve the health, well-being and resilience of communities. This is even more important when working with individuals and families exposed to multiple forms of vulnerability.

Nongovernment organizations expressed interest in becoming stronger partners in enabling the inclusion and well-being of people at risk of exclusion and poor health.  


The project Towards Better Health and Reducing Inequalities in Health – Together Towards Health is co-funded by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism Programme 2009–2014. The National Institute of Public Health in Slovenia in close cooperation with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health will prepare upgraded preventive programmes for children and youth and for adults.