Cáritas Coimbra participated in the EU_SHAFE Campania Inter-Regional Policy Learning Workshop

Cáritas Coimbra participated in the Online Workshop: Campania Inter-Regional Policy Learning of the EU_SHAFE project on June 24th. 

The EU_SHAFE project launched in August 2019 aims at improving the Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments (SHAFE) policies and practices in 7 European regions by developing a comprehensive approach and using a ‘learning by sharing’ methodology. 


The digital transformation of health and care is creating opportunities for the development and application of digital health technologies to address societal and health challenges, such as population ageing and health gaps, and changing them into an opportunity for sustainable development. The digitalisation of the health and social sector is, therefore, one of the priority areas of intervention for regional investments aimed at filling infrastructure gaps and the digital divide. 

The first achievement of EU_SHAFE partners has been the finalisation of an Assessment Report to map the situation of each participating region in relation to 4 of the 8 World Health Organisation domains for age-friendly cities and communities domains. 


The 4 domains selected by the EU_SHAFE partners are: Housing; Social Participation; Communication; and Health and community services. 

The first, of a series of 4, EU_SHAFE Inter-Regional Policy Learning Workshops, was hosted by Regione Campania, with organisational and media support provided by ECHAlliance, on 24 June. The event which was delivered virtually because of the COVID-19 restrictions was attended by almost 60 participants representing a broad spectrum of European regions. 


The objective of the Workshop was to share the lessons learned on the WHO domain 1 – housing’s seven local good practices collected in the partners’ regions. An interactive format of presentations and discussion allowed the stakeholders from the regionals’ clusters to become familiar with EU_SHAFE strategic objectives, community and activities and to learn from other local and international experiences relevant to the SHAFE area. 


The workshop was opened by Maria Grazia Falciatore and Monica Staibano from the Campania Region Unitary Planning Unit, who highlighted the importance of creating living environments which promote and maintain citizens’ health and well-being. Following this the workshop’s moderators, Maddalena Illario, Campania Region Health’s Innovation Unit and John Farrell, Reference Site Collaborative Network (RSCN), introduced the first panel of speakers to present the EU_SHAFE project showcase. Asier Alustiza Kapanaga, Director General for the Promotion of Personal Autonomy in Bizkaia, EU_SHAFE coordinator, spoke on the EU_SHAFE aims and objectives and its ambition of contributing to the creation of an intelligent environment capable of improving local policy approaches for responding to population ageing, including responses to health emergencies. This was followed by Amaya Mendez Zorrilla, University of Deusto who presented the preliminary results of the EU_SHAFE Aggregated Report on Good Practices related to the WHO housing domain. This included the collection of EU_SHAFE good practices focussing on their scope and challenges. The first results related to the good practices assessment and analysis have been completed and these identify actions to be prioritised to strengthen impact and scale-up opportunities. 


The second session of the workshop focussed on the implementation of some of the good practices implemented in Campania Region. The “Let’s stay together” initiative, presented by Ezio Polizzi and Stefano Gamra, Co-Housing Service srl, is a successful enterprise based in the Acerra area of Naples. This area has many social and societal challenges but it presented a valuable opportunity to develop a creative and innovative approach to housing for older adults. The initiative, which is developed on a co-housing model aims to create a familiar environment that is completely different from nursing homes or retirement houses; and which stimulates older adults to live independently and actively with a good quality of life. Co-habitation is organised in small groups (4-7) and residents live in their own apartment. Managing the facility is supported by a web application aimed at better organising some routine activities, such as visitors’ diary, pharmaceutics for therapy etc. The initiative has been extremely successful and is now being scaled up to the Caserta province. 


Luigi Riccio, Coordinator of Campania Region Unit for Infrastructure & technological Investments gave a presentation on l’Ospedale del Mare and its use of advanced health technologies in delivering services. Inaugurated three years ago and partially funded by European funds, it is the first healthcare project financing launched in Italy. L’Ospedale del Mare is situated on the eastern outskirts of Naples and provides health services to half a million citizens by promoting an innovative approach to the integration of hospital and community services. During the COVID-19 outbreak, this modular hospital became a highly specialized centre for Coronavirus patients and is one of the medical structures to support the development of territorial medicine during the virus “phase 2”. 

Gino Nicolais, President of Campania Digital Innovation Hub (DIH), concluded the EU_SHAFE workshop session 2, giving highlights on the the innovation ecosystem in Campania Region. Campania DIH’s vision is the creation of a regional innovative collaboration network between industries, research centers and other institutional actors for the realization of the new Industry 4.0 paradigm. Gino underlined how digitalization is driving the big transition from industry to time 4.0. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is above all a social change other than technological. At the centre of this transition is the citizen, who becomes more and more the heart of the business models, and is involved in the development of products. Campania DIH’s goal is to create a collaborative community focused on digital technologies and new business models that can improve the competitiveness of businesses along the digital transformation path. 


The final session of the workshop allowed EU_SHAFE stakeholders to learn about 2 EC funded project and the potential transferability and scale up of their results towards the EU_SHAFE.  

Gilda De Marco, INSIEL S.p.a Direzione e Innovazione e Governo ICT, presented the Interreg Europe ASHTAG project. ASHTAG, Multilevel transnational model for the innovation of public administration promoting an Active Ageing, aims at improving the governance capacities of regional Active and Healthy Aging (AHA) policies and easing the transferring of innovation initiatives within the Alpine Space. It is establishing an open transnational Governance Board of AHA for the coordination and assessment of regional policies and for publishing a portfolio of good practices and is designing a framework for planning new policies and actions in AHA. Particularly relevant for the EU_SHAFE, is the ASHTAG AHA Governance Assessment Model and the selection of metrics to evaluate the selected good practices’ impact and sustainability, inspirational for the assessment methodology to be adopted by EU_SHAFE. Ozan Byhan, Ministry of Health of Turkey, illustrated the Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) proEmpower project. proEmpower is an initiative aiming to procure a €3M personsalised diabetes management solution to support patients with Diabetes Mellitus type 2. The user-centered approach to health and care and the experience the project is making by implementing the PCP instrument within various European regions could represent an opportunity to improve monitoring and health outcomes also in co-housing settings. The exchange of experiences made with the EU_SHAFE stakeholders during the workshop highlighted that this kind of setting could be very relevant to speed up the uptake and the scale-up of the proEmpower’s results especially for the benefit of the frail and prefrail population. The workshop concluded with a highly interactive question and answer session between participants and the various presenters. Following this the Moderators, Maddalena Illario and John Farrell, summarised the outcomes from the first EU_SHAFE Interregional Policy Learning Meeting. The following were the key take-away messages: 1. Importance of creating cross sectoral and cross Government approaches that bring together policy makers and service providers with entrepreneurs, SMEs, Researchers and Citizens to bring about sustainable change, 2. Aligning initiatives, programmes, and projects with regional and national policies and priorities, 3. Promoting and stimulating innovation (including social innovation); understanding how digital technologies can be used; and using data to develop sustainable solutions built around citizen and society needs, 4. Investing in the health and well-being should not only be about financial profits, the Value Chain should also integrate improving outcomes for citizens. 


The online workshop’s material, speakers presentations and online recording, can be found on the EU_SHAFE web site, in the library section. 


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