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Obesity Prevention through European Network [OPEN] [20121218] - Project
General objectives

By the end of 2016, the OPEN project aims to strengthen the methodology of Community Based Programmes (CBPs), Initiatives (CBIs) or Public Organizations, willing to implement sustainable strategies and actions to prevent obesity at local and national level.
The project will scale-up and increase capacity of the Coordination Teams (CTs) in terms of scope of action, design, implementation and evaluation methods.
The objective is also to support the CTs in widening their target groups scope, including adolescents living in deprived areas.

Increasing the CTs capacity and skills, the project will facilitate and accelerate behavior and environmental change to reduce overweight and obesity-related diseases among European children and adolescents.

To date, 11 CTs in 16 countries (PHC-Belgium, UGENT-Cyprus, UGENT-Estonia, CCFL-France, UGENT-Germany, NOSTUS-Greece, UGENT-Hungary, UGENT-Italy, MHEC-Malta, CGG-Netherlands, PFPZ ZP-Poland, CEIDESS-Portugal, PRAIS-Romania, OZ PZND-Slovakia, ALE-Spain, UGENT-Sweden) are part of the consortium.

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

OPEN is an input to help completing the objectives of the second Programme of Community Actions in the Field of Health 2008-2013; specifically the objective of promoting health, including the reduction of health inequalities.
OPEN capitalizes on the existing policies, in the field of public health and beyond such as education, physical activity, urbanism and agriculture.
OPEN encourages local authorities working together to create positive and sustainable community dynamics, so that civil society benefit from obesity prevention strategies on a long-term basis.
OPEN helps the CTs to apply recent research findings about children and adolescents behavior towards nutrition and health (e.g. ENERGY, TEMPEST and HEALTH25) into concrete coordinated actions, targeting adolescents living in deprived areas, via dedicated funds
OPEN disseminates health information, knowledge and best practice among regions and Members States (MS) to develop CBPs at a large scale, supporting European reference networks (IDEFICS, EEN).

Methods and means

To increase CTs methodology capacity, the OPEN project will use different means:

•Capacity building and best-practice sharing workshops on EPODE methodology and recent research findings during OPEN Symposia
•Tailored coaching through on-site visits and regular contacts
•Framework for sustainable prevention actions implementation: targeting adolescents living in deprived areas: dedicated funds, evidence and practice-based recommendations
•OPEN WIKI: database aimed at classifying and share methodological and communication documents used by CTs

To assess the CBPs methodology progress, OPEN will evaluate them at the beginning and at the end of the project with the WHO good practice appraisal tool.
To build the agenda and content of the workshops, CTs needs will also be assessed during on-site visits through a qualitative approach based on the EPODE methodology and its 4 pillars. Medium-term methodological progress goals will be defined and monitored with CTs, to motivate them mobilizing resources and efforts to improve their effectiveness and impact on communities.

Expected outcomes period

At the end of the OPEN project:

- CTs progress in terms of scaling-up, design, implementation and evaluation via capacity-building workshops and tailored coaching. The average good practice score obtained with the WHO appraisal tool has increased of at least 15 % (beginning of OPEN project VS end of it).

- CTs have shared experience and best-practice via active participation to workshops and in OPEN WIKI (filling the database and exchanging within the online platform).

- CTs have implemented sustainable actions at local level targeting adolescents living in deprived areas via the evidence and practice-based recommendations.

Start date: 01/01/2014
End date: 01/01/2017
Duration: 36 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: Second Programme of Community action in the Field of Health 2008-2013
EC Contribution: € 1 053 428,86