The Norwegian WHO Healthy Cities network has joined forces with the similar networks in Denmark and Sweden to contribute to the development of a new course.
The aim of the course is to build competencies and know-how among those working to improve health and well-being and reduce health inequities at a local level. Their practice requires being able to bridge policies, sectors and people throughout government and with wider society.
Competencies and know-how in areas such as agenda-setting, navigating complex systems as well as building and sustaining alliances are essential to achieve this and will be elements of focus in the course.
Inspired by a WHO flagship course
The Scandinavian initiative is inspired by the WHO Regional Office for Europe Flagship Course on Equity in Health in All Policies (eHiAP) launched in 2016. The national coordinator of the Norwegian Healthy Cities network, Ingvild Little, contributed to the development of this course last year, and delegations from municipalities, county councils and national authorities in Norway, Denmark and Sweden were among the participants of the first course.
The experience among the Scandinavian participants of the WHO flagship course was that it would be valuable to adapt it to each country’s context and language in order to offer it to managers and advisers working at a local level.
– Ingvild Little, national coordinator of the Norwegian Healthy Cities network
This year the Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities – together with similar authorities in Denmark and Sweden – have initiated a Scandinavian project aiming to adapt the WHO course to a Scandinavian context and audience.
The job was put out for tender and a partnership consisting of the Healthy Cities networks in Scandinavia, professor emeritus Finn Diderichsen at Copenhagen University and the consulting company COWI won the contract.
– This partnership holds all that is needed to develop a great course: scientific expertise on the topic of health inequities, expertise within course development and not least valuable experience with and know-how about public health work at the local level, Little says.
Pilot testing in August
The work on the course is already well on its way. Just now an extensive needs analysis is being conducted among municipalities and county councils in Scandinavia. A pilot version of the course will be tested in connection with the 12th Nordic Public Health Conference in Aalborg, Denmark in August 2017. The course material will be completed by the end of the year and the first courses will take place in early 2018.
The Norwegian Healthy Cities network is excited about this opportunity to further support the capacity and know-how of those working to improve health and well-being for all at the local level!
Foto: Karin Beate Nøsterud/norden.org