Alliance partners commence a strategic and action planning process to enhance policy actions for child safety in 18 European countries

02/12/2004

Child Safety Action Plan gets underway.

On October 1st the Child Safety Action Plan project officially got underway. Building off the work of many previous projects and studies from the EC, OECD, UNICEF, WHO and ECSA the aim of this EU Commission funded initiative is to enable national and European strategic and action planning for child safety. This will be achieved through the cultivation of processes, tools and resources addressing a comprehensive set of injury and action indicators, evidence-based practice and capacity enhancement.

Hosted by ECSA, the 18 participating countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom) and five NGO partners (EPHA, UNICEF, WHO – European Office, University of Western England and University of Keele) will work together to realise this ambitious goal over the next 30 months.

Three aspects of strategic and action planning will be brought together to support the country level activities. Building on the Balanced Scorecard Project and related EU activities, a set of indicators addressing injury outcomes, good practice, health determinants and capacity will be developed. These will serve as assessment / benchmarking tools for countries as they plan and implement action. Building on the concept of evidence-based practice a process to define, identify and describe ‘good’ practice and explore how to transfer success from one setting to another will be implemented. This will result in a standard template to collect good practice in the future and the development of a guide to implementing good practice ensuring evidence-based action. Finally to assist the country level planning process and strengthen European level measures and activities, country strengths and needs will be assessed and a capacity development and mentoring program will be implemented to build on current capacity.

Management of the project has been undertaken by Morag MacKay who joined the Alliance at the beginning of October. Morag, a trained epidemiologist, comes to the project from Canada where for the last 11 years she has been involved in injury both regionally, provincially and nationally in Canada as well as internationally. She has experience in strategic planning, surveillance, conducting descriptive and applied research, program development, implementation and evaluation and education. She has received numerous grants and has published in the field.

The creation of Child Safety Action Plans in the 18 countries participating will provide a concrete opportunity to demonstrate visible progress toward the commitment to a Children's Environment and Health Action Plan made at the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health in Budapest earlier this year by 52 countries in Europe. It will also provide standardised measures to facilitate ongoing progress toward that goal.

For more information on this initiative please contact: Morag MacKay, Program Manager - European Child Safety Alliance, European Consumer Safety Association: m.mackay@childsafetyeurope.org

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