Weiss, Johannes; Habl, Claudia; Gottlob, Anita (2023): Needs assessment summary. Gesundheit Österreich, Wien.

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Official URL (please open in a new browser tab/window): https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10065943


As the Covid-19 pandemic swept over Europe, an exigent need arose for quick exchange of information among experts and institutions lending their support to national governments in managing the crisis response. Thus, devoted members of the former Joint Action on Health Information (JA InfAct) started to meet regularly already end of March 2020 online to foster cross-country exchange1. The sessions have been jointly organised by the Public Health Institute in Belgium, Sciensano and the Austrian Public Health Institute Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG). Within these virtual meetings, participating partners were afforded a platform to pose inquiries, exchange perspectives, and share insights within a trusted environment. Recognizing the significance of this endeavour, the European Commission extended its support to this initiative titled “Rapid Exchange Forum (REF)”, formalising it as Task 8.2 under the umbrella of the Population Health Research Infrastructure (PHIRI), as detailed at www.phiri.eu.
This development allowed a group of population health experts and advisors to crisis response teams a swift and bi-weekly exchanges of data, key indicators, best practices, and experiences pertinent to the Covid-19 crisis response, all executed in a structured and efficient manner across 31 countries (thereof 28 PHIRI partners: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia And Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and additionally Albania, Denmark and Cyprus) and 11 organisations (ECDC, EUPHA, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, CPME, OECD, WHO, EMA, EC, DG SANTE, DG RTD and ELIXIR)1 . Notably, all REF meetings were hosted, moderated, and documented by the GÖG-team, with valuable support by Sciensano. In total 58 regular meetings and 6 special meetings with an average number of 25 participants took place in the PHIRI grant period, i.e., between October 2020 and October 2023. For a comprehensive overview of all matters discussed in these sessions see Annex I.
Building upon the first Needs Assessment (D8.1)2 - which was performed in 2020/2021 to identify priority topics of the public health and crisis control community for the meetings - this Needs Assessment Summary (ML53) takes a retrospective look at the development of the REFs and assesses the relevance of REFs at the end of PHIRI. In a first part, it gives an overview of the development of the REF Meetings, which evolved over 4 phases, mirroring the pandemic phases and developments in countries across Europe. After three years of excellent collaboration and the end of the project in sight, the analysis aims to highlight how the REF responded to the specific needs in the light of the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic. In a second part, a SWOT Analysis is performed to assess strengths and weaknesses as well as external threats and opportunities of REFs meetings. Finally, this exercise results in a discussion on the relevance of REFs as a good practice regarding the response and management of recent and future public health crisis.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects: Internationales, Policy, Evaluation und Digitalisierung
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2023 11:00
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2023 11:00
URI: https://jasmin.goeg.at/id/eprint/3061