On 24 November 2015, Dr. Jean-Michel Borys presented the Epode methodology at the C3 Breakfast Seminar (http://www.c3health.org/). C3 Collaborating for Health has been a long-standing partner for EIN and the seminar provided an excellent opportunity to present the work of EIN to a wide range of stakeholders.
Dr. Borys started the seminar by explaining the four pillars of Epode which form the core of the methodology:
- Political commitment – there must be strong political will at local (as well as regional and national) level – engagement is crucial in starting a new programme. The first person to engage when organising a programme is the mayor of the town, or the leader of the local community. The local mayor can be a champion, opening many doors and convincing the community to take part.
- Science/evidence-based – we need to evaluate and have evidence, especially for the community, and also for the funders, who need to know if their investment is worthwhile.
- Resources, including public-private partnerships (PPPs) – it takes a long time to change the local environment, so funding must be sustainable. This is not necessarily easy, because budgets may be cut by a new local government – and private funding can also be shifted away. The best model to ensure sustainability is a combination of public and private resources.
- Support services – this should include social marketing expertise, and the best specialists do not have to be necessarily medical doctors or nutritionists.
Dr. Borys also discussed the EIN, the structure that supports the network of the Epode member programmes. It is based on coordination at all levels. The vital part of EIN’s work is to help its members to scale up their campaigns and including a wide range of stakeholders from the community to increase the impact of a campaign. Each campaign is carefully adapted to local realities – the principles are the same everywhere, but the content differs from one programme to another. Dr Borys also presented the results from the EPHE project which provided sound evidence that the Epode approach can have lasting positive effect on the life-style habits of the participating communities.
The presentation was followed by a discussion with the seminar participants who were very interested to know more about the implementation and impact of the Epode methodology. Among the covered topics were cooperation with private companies, working with parents and the cost of the implementing the Epode methodology.
Click the following link to download the minutes of the seminar: