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Public Policy and Health

Centre for Public Policy & Health

School of Medicine, Pharmacy & Health, Durham University

Aim of the Centre

Working in collaboration with the WHO, the work plan aims to support the delivery of the health policy framework for Europe, Health 2020, through the implementation of the accompanying document, European Action Plan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services (EAP). Both Health 2020 and the EAP were approved for implementation by the WHO European Regional Committee in September 2012.

The EAP is viewed as one of the main implementation pillars for achieving Health 2020. The WHO Collaborating Centre based on the Centre for Public Policy and Health (CPPH) will offer advice on the implementation of the EAP upon request but will focus its efforts in particular on 2 of the 10 Essential Public Health Operations (EPHOs): EPHOs 6 (Assuring governance for health and wellbeing) and 10 (Advancing public health research to inform policy and practice). These particular EPHOs play to the CPPH’s core research interests and strengths which are centred on governance for health, and co-creating and adopting knowledge and evidence in complex systems.

The CPPH is a key contributor to Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, a partnership of the five Universities in the North East region of England, and is leading the complex systems research programme. Complex systems thinking recognises the importance of understanding context, and both multi-level (local, regional, national, international) and multi-sector (health, education, housing, leisure and so on) initiatives that bridge research, policy and action.

The CPPH, Durham University, has close links with the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), including its International Division. NICE produces public health guidance based on best evidence which it makes available to policy-makers and practitioners in local government and the National Health Service. It has a particular interest in ensuring that the evidence is appropriately targeted on its various audiences and is effectively acted upon with support from an implementation team. To support its work with WHO, the CPPH will aim to agree a Memorandum of Understanding with NICE International and Centre for Public Health Excellence.

Our Terms of Reference, and a set of proposed activities under each, are presented below.

Terms of Reference (TOR)


  • To support WHO’s efforts on EPHO 6, to strengthen health governance and in particular supporting whole of government working to align priorities to needs and resource flows with a particular emphasis on the social determinants of health.


  • Mobilise a network of partners to contribute to EPHO6;
  • Identify and support the use of collaborative models of working in Member States;
  • Review accountability arrangements, including those for audit and scrutiny, for relevant policies and standards;
  • Review implementation plans within Member States for legally binding international treaties, conventions and regulations relating to social justice, human rights and promoting population health;
  • Develop an implementation plan to assist with Member States’ national health strategies;
  • Gather and dissseminate case studies of lessons learnt in strengthening public health governance among Member States.


  • With WHO’s guidance and support, to provide leadership on the issues arising from, and the mechanisms for, generating, spreading and sharing knowledge and evidence through knowledge exchange approaches (EPHO 10) across WHO member states as part of the implementation of the EAP.


  • Set up and lead a small working group of interested parties to progress work on EPHO 10.
  • Mobilise a network of partners to contribute to the implementation of EPHO 10.
  • Establish and support links with the other EHPO leads, especially those concerned with governance (EPHO 6), the public health workforce (EPHO 7) and the sustainable organisational structures for delivering public health (EPHO 8).
  • Contribute to the planning and delivery of a workshop at the EUPHA annual conference in Glasgow , November 2014 at which progress with EPHOs 6 and 10 would be reported and discussed.


  • Formulate approaches, develop and take forward a road map to progress the areas described in paragraphs 89-93, pp.22-23 of the EAP with an emphasis on adopting a systems approach to the translation of knowledge and evidence for policy and practice.


  • Support a review of public health research capacities in collaboration with the European Advisory Committee on Health Research (EACHR);
  • Identify gaps in knowledge and priority areas for public health research;
  • Diagnose barriers and obstacles to using evidence;
  • Identify knowledge-brokerage mechanisms to aid knowledge transfer;
  • Gather and share examples of knowledge exchange, spreading and sharing, including case studies of how research has influenced and/or impacted on policy and practice.

In fulfilment of both the above TOR, and the activities listed under each, the CPPH in its capacity as a WHO Collaborating Centre will work within the context of the implementation of the new European health policy framework, Health 2020. In addition, the CPPH will, in collaboration with WHO, identify and help mobilise additional resources to fulfil the TOR and, as necessary, develop joint funding proposals in order to progress the agreed work programme.


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