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Meeting notes

"Public / Private Partnerships" meeting, October 24th, 2008

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Kick-off meeting, October 08, Paris

In line with international recommendations (1,2) prompting a multi-stakeholder approach to tackle childhood obesity, "Public Private Partnership (PPP)" as is one of the key elements of the EPODE methodology.

The EPODE European Network has established a committee that works on this topic. The kick off meeting of the Committee that works on PPP was held on the 24th of October 2008 (picture).

During the first meeting chaired by Prof. Monique Romon (Lille 2 University), scientists, private and public parties, as well as the EEN coordinating team were present to discuss the ways of setting up and managing appropriate PPPs within EPODE-similar frameworks. Until 2011, the aim of this committee is to develop recommendations and a charter on PPP to be used in developing EPODE-similar initiatives in European countries.

Introductory presentations highlighted that within EPODE, PPP fundamentally involves national and regional partners, and this for many reasons such as endorsement, technical and scientific support, funding, and advocacy. Taken together, they enable a sustainable mobilisation of multiple stakeholders in the prevention of childhood obesity.

Questions were raised about the manner of setting up and implementing PPP in that context. Preliminary literature research was presented, highlighting the fact that little information is available about PPP within the context of public health and childhood obesity prevention. However it did show that there are a broad range of PPP, based on scope, expected outcomes and partners. Among frequently quoted advantages of PPP is a confluence of interests, collective fund-raising and corporate social responsibility. The most frequently quoted difficulties of PPP are conflicts of interest, blurring of tasks and responsibilities. Finally, identified key success factors are transparency and efficient management especially when a great diversity of partners are involved.

From the interesting and useful discussions came the idea that preconceptions may exist among all sectors, and that these are caused by the fact that there is too little communication about the stakes of the different parties when joining a partnership.

Part of the challenge of this committee will therefore be to bring to light the importance, the role and the interests of all of the partners, and find a way of merging all these contributions to efficiently and effectively tackle this major public health issue.

Lille 2 University team, currently running exploratory research, will present preliminary results to the committee during next meeting to be held on April 28th in Lille.


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How it works?

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For each of the four pillars or work packages: Political involvement, Scientific evaluation, Methods and Social Marketing and Public / private partnership, the work in progress will be discussed within its corresponding committee (once to twice a year).

The university team is responsible for the development of background papers, position papers and other related preparatory research activities based on literature reviews, interviews etc. and is in regular contact with the EEN coordinating team to share information, ensure consistency with overall activities and objectives.