The COVID-19 pandemic has put an end to face-to-face conferences for the foreseeable future. In light of this, the STOP, CO-CREATE and PEN projects felt a virtual joint symposium with key members of the three consortiums would present an interesting opportunity for the projects to collaborate and share updates on progress to date, in the absence of opportunities to meet in person. The symposium focused on policy mapping, modelling and simulation of policy impacts, and addressing the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. Below are quotes from the project PIs on the importance of cross-project collaboration.
“Childhood obesity represents a complex problem with huge impact both for individuals and for society. For that reason, it is of great value that the three large, pan-European projects CO-CREATE, PEN and STOP have joint forces to address key research challenges. In this symposium policy assessment, policy impact, and the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups are being discussed by key researchers from the three projects.” Prof. Knut-Inge Klepp, CO-CREATE PI
“We all see the need for so-called “up-stream” interventions addressing the policies that shape our health behaviours, but we have no information on the impact nor on the implementation of policy interventions across Europe and no guidance on appropriate research designs, methods and tools. The Policy Evaluation Network (PEN) is a cross-country, multidisciplinary collaborative project combining expertise in diet, physical activity and sedentary behaviour with policy- and implementation science to deliver a comprehensive approach to address this gap. To this aim, PEN has joined forces with the Horizon 2020 projects STOP and CO-CREATE.” Prof. Wolfgang Ahrens, PEN PI
“The European Union has made an unprecedented investment in research to improve health-related behaviours in Europe, particularly in children. We have to seize this opportunity and produce evidence that can inform and drive public policies and the actions of business and civil society stakeholders, identifying solutions that are effective in improving people’s behaviours and respectful of their rights and freedoms”. Prof. Franco Sassi, STOP PI