Expected outcomes

The meeting will be structured around plenary sessions for keynote addresses and debates, subplenary sessions for the presentation and discussion of case studies from Member States in the European Region (with an emphasis on lessons learned) and strategic workshops.

The meaning of and the opportunities and solutions for whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches will be explored and demonstrated in the context of examples relating to four priority areas for public health action:

  • noncommunicable diseases and lifestyles: addressing the obesity epidemic, tobacco and alcohol use and making healthy choices the easy choices;
  • emergency situations: preparedness and response to deal with severe situations such as infectious disease outbreaks, natural disasters or food safety issues as well as the perception of risk by the public;
  • social determinants of health: tackling the health divide between and within countries, with emphasis on approaches addressing the life course and the social gradient
  • sustainable development and health: human development, the physical and urban environment and intersectoral financing for health; with a particular focus on global perspectives and health diplomacy.

The meeting will address the effectiveness of intersectoral action as compared with action from one sector alone; the validity and applicability of special mechanisms (committees, cabinets and groups for both the senior and operational levels) for planning and implementing intersectoral work; ways of involving politics through developing partnerships with political leaders (members of parliaments, chairs of parliamentary health committees, prime ministers, presidents, party leaders and mayors), civil society, citizens, patients and consumers; the economics of health and disease prevention; and instruments to evaluate and monitor the health effects of other policies. The role of nongovernmental organizations and the role of the business and corporate sector will also be addressed. The key role of health ministers in supporting and promoting action for health across sectors and levels of government will be explored throughout the meeting.

The programme will include:

  • reviews of European Region experiences with intersectoral action, reviews of partnerships at all levels and between levels of government as well as community empowerment initiatives;
  • discussion of the findings of the governance for health in the 21st century study WHO commissioned to inform the Health 2020 policy; and
  • presentation of case studies from across the Region, including showcasing Israel’s example of a comprehensive national Health 2020 policy.

Site visits will also be organized for participants to have first-hand experience of local initiatives that draw on the contribution of various sectors and community actors.

The main expected outcomes of the meeting are:

  • to enhance interest and engagement in Health 2020 among the participants;
  • to broaden understanding of the implications of whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches to health and well-being; and
  • to get feedback and advice from the participants on the further development of the Health 2020 policy and especially on how to communicate clearly with and engage other sectors and key political and civil-society actors.

The meeting will make maximum use of technological means to maximize interaction as well the use of social media and webcasting possibilities. Every effort will be made to create a physical platform (and virtual platform through webcasting and use of social media) to connect and generate dialogue with key political and sectoral constituencies. The meeting will also reflect good health promotion practices, including nutrition and physical. There will be simultaneous translation into English and Russian.