A working seminar entitled “DRIVERS recommendations for equity and well-being” was held on Thursday 23 October 2014 in Brussels. It brought together several DRIVERS partners and important stakeholders working on key determinants of health: early childhood development, employment & working conditions, and income & social protection.
The stakeholders represented the: Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) for Health, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), European Commission DG Education and Culture (EAC), DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (EMPL), DG Justice (JUST) and DG Research & Innovation (RTD), International Labour Organization (ILO), the Network of European Foundations (NEF), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the European Union, Social Platform and Vlaams Instituut voor Gezondheidspromotie en Ziektepreventie (ViGEZ).
The aim of the event was to take stock of the research findings and to refine and hone project recommendations. It was therefore an excellent opportunity to receive feedback on the overall package of research and policy links developed by the project to date, raise the profile of the project among key stakeholders and to broaden the potential base of support.
Clive Needle (EuroHealthNet) chaired the seminar and led the round-table discussions on how to maximise the impact of the project’s recommendations in policy processes. Participants were invited to share their views and provided feedback on how DRIVERS could contribute to processes at the EU, national and sub-national levels beyond the lifetime of the project.
Introducing the project’s approach to promoting health equity, Peter Goldblatt, (Institute of Health Equity, UCL) described the importance of taking a life-course approach in understanding the three DRIVERS areas, and how carefully implemented interventions and policies in these areas can improve health equity. These were based on four key principles: universality, responding to disadvantage, adaptation to context, and drawing on data from different sources and countering the ‘information paradox’ (whereby the least data exists for countries with the greatest need to reduce health inequalities).
The seminar sparked interesting and fruitful discussions on how to bridge the gap between research and policy and there was focused debate on how recommendations could be tailored to different audiences.
Project partners welcome the valuable suggestions put forward by the seminar’s participants and will take them into full consideration in developing the final recommendations and other dissemination activities.
Seminar presentations are available here.
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