The programme cycle page provides an overview of the different stages of the SF programming process and the page below describes how you could use the guide at each of the stages if you are .....


Preparing input to a Partnership Contract ... [top]

At an early stage, think about the impacts on public health and well-being. When identifying the broad, strategic priorities for a programme, consider the driving forces and pressures identified for each of the relevant funding themes – and the specific context of your country or region. For example, are demographic forces like ageing and migration putting a strain on public health? Share the lessons learned from the case studies of Pioneer Regions.

Working on the strategic and socio-economic analysis at the programme level ... [top]

Public health and well-being are critical starting points for a regional socio-economic analysis.  A first step could be to identify the socio-economic groups most affected and the relevant health issues. Work with your counterpart in public health to explore these issues for your region, and how they affect the overall socio-economic needs of the region.  The driving forces and pressures identified in the causal pathways can help you to understand the demographic, economic, territorial and other regional development aspects that impact public health. Go to the Approaches to Consider sections on the funding themes to find examples of current programmes that have integrated some of the health effects from the pathways in their socio-economic analysis.

Planning investment priorities ... [top]

Experience from current SF programmes is that public health and well-being frequently appear in the socio-economic analysis as clearly important to the overall development of a region. However, these issues are less frequently included in the investment priorities – typically because public health and well-being are cross-cutting issues, rather than specific funding objectives. The Approaches to Consider sections for the funding themes can provide ideas on how health issues can be considered in the investment priorities, thereby encouraging the development of projects that consider these issues more directly.

Participating in a consultation on behalf of the health sector, wellbeing partnership, local community or other interested party ... [top]

Health experts and those responsible for delivering health and social improvements can work with managing authorities to ensure that these issues are properly considered and addressed. Our aim is to facilitate a constructive dialogue between health experts, stakeholder, and programme officials. While health practitioners may already have a good understanding of the causal pathways, they may not be aware of how they feed into Structural Fund programmes. The Approaches to Consider sections for the funding themes and Cohesion Policy page contain background information and examples that illustrate this. Health stakeholders can also use this guide to introduce programme managers to health gains that may not be recognised in current and future programmes. Capturing, assessing and publicising these health gains can be beneficial for the entire region or Member State.

Carrying out an ex-ante or Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) for a programme ... [top]

Programme assessment involves checking the internal consistency and logic of the proposed activites. Are the planned objectives, priorities and measures likely to achieve the overall goals in the Partnership Contract and do they correspond to the needs identified in the programme socio-economic analysis? Are the driving forces, pressures and states identified in the causal pathways relevant for your region and are the corresponding exposed groups and health effects taken into account? Will investment priorities, funding measures and implementation arrangements foster projects that consider these health effects? The guide is an excellent mechanism to ensure that programmes are actively designed to improve public health. Each of the detailed pages for the funding themes can be printed and used in team meetings, stakeholder consultations and other points in the process - and you can also select individual topics from the causal pathway to be printed.

Developing a project ... [top]

The case studies prove that including health impacts into the programming documents does not guarantee results. A programme may encourage innovative projects that consider health, but project developers need the tools to conceive and implement such projects. The case studies have identified ways that cross-cutting themes such as equal opportunities have been addressed. Examples of investment projects that integrate and capture health gains have also been identified for some of the funding themes. The causal pathways are inspiration for planning as well as project implementation.

Managing and tracking results from current programmes and developing evaluation systems for the next period ... [top]

Developing indicators to monitor the indirect effects of programmes and projects can be a challenge. For example, programmes targeting employment or training may measure changes in local employment rates or numbers of people who got jobs or received training. Measuring the increase in physical and mental wellbeing from stable employment would be valuable but complex and costly to do. Instead, existing indicator sets could be used to better understand and even track health gains from the Structural Fund programmes – see the health indicators page. The causal pathways also provide a useful basis for better understanding the health gains, in order to capture and track them – even if they are not directly measured as part of the programme monitoring and evaluation system.