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PAIDEIATROFI Programme and its specificities

helenastamouHelena Stamou, National Coordinator of PAIDEIATROFI, speaks about the programme and the challenges of its development.

PAIDEIATROFI comes from two wordplays between “PAIDI” and “PAIDEIA” meaning “child” and “education” and between “DIATROFI” and “TROFI” meaning “nutrition” and “food”. Adaptation of the EPODE methodology in Greece, the programme was launched in December 2008 with 5 pilot towns and currently 14 towns are implementing it locally. The first 4-year cycle of the programme will be completed in December 2012.

PAIDEIATROFI Coordination at National level

Since 2008, a four-year national plan for nutrition and nutritional disorders has been launched by the greek government. Even if it raises awareness among the population through campaigns but also with occasional actions, there is a real need for the local stakeholders to work in synergy with this national plan by having their own tools to develop actions at community level. In this framework, PAIDEIATROFI, based on the EPODE methodology, bridges this gap between awareness and practical “know-how” to implement effectively the lifestyle changes in the long term at community level. From 5 pilots towns implementing this programme, there are currently 14 PAIDEIATROFI towns involving 1,000,000 inhabitants and working together towards the same main objective: promote healthier lifestyle among the greek children and their families.

PAIDEIATROFI is coordinated at national level by a dedicated team, working at the agency NOSTUS Communications & Events, specialised in Social Marketing and organisational techniques. In order to have scientific guidance in the development of the PAIDEIATROFI campaigns, the coordination team benefits from the expertise of an independent expert committee gathering a paediatrician, a physical activity specialist etc. (see also filmed interviews of PAIDEIATROFI actors on the EEN website)  

As central coordination of the PAIDEIATROFI programme, the team promotes the involvement of  multiple stakeholders at national level. Thus, it is valuable for a health prevention programme to benefit from an institutional endorsement and the support of the private and public entities. Nevertheless even if the government’s administration has changed in the last three years, the programme is still endorsed by various ministries.

Barriers overcome for a sustainable implementation

The first important step in adapting the EPODE Methodology at a national level has been to mobilize sustainable resources at central level. In PAIDEIATROFI, this has been achieved through the support of corporate partners. In Greece, private companies are not necessarly used to developing their corporate social responsabilities, therefore it was difficult at first to convince them to support a long-term programme like PAIDEIATROFI. It was a step-by-step work with the help of the European Coordination and their experience in raising levers for such partnerships (see also EEN Committee on Public Private Partnership and interview of the PPP Research leader in french).

At local level, the funding is essentially provided by the local authority (for materials dissemination, organization of dedicated activities and events etc.) and possibly complemented by local private partners (shop owners, local producers etc.). It is important to highlight the contribution and the work of the local stakeholders and more particularly of the local project manager to the improvement of citizens’ behaviours, children’s wellbeing and more broadly to the development of their community. It is key to motivate them to continue their efforts and involve local actors in the evaluation process and the dissemaintion of the results (see interview of the local project manager of Maroussi in greek).

Work in progress and perspectives

The central coordination is planning to design and disseminate new tools, such as specific calls for proposal aimed at funding local projects adapted to the needs of specific population groups.
As regards the evaluation process, the coordinating team foresees the involvement of Greek universities to support and guide the  implementation of an evaluation framework (see also EEN Committee on Scientific Evaluation and Dissemination and the interview of the Research leader in english), in order to manage in a more systematic way the monitoring process and disseminate the outcomes to the present and future stakeholders of PAIDEIATROFI.