The ITHACA partners met 12-13 September 2019 in Ljubljana, Slovenia with the objective of getting additional inputs and feedback as inspiration for developing their respective action plans – and actually do more work on them. Moreover, several new Good Practices were reviewed.
An action plan is a document providing details on how the lessons learnt from the cooperation under ITHACA will be implemented in order to achieve better health and care through innovation – with reference to the policy instrument addressed in the ITHACA project by the partners in the nine project countries. An action plan specifies the nature of the actions to be implemented, their timeframe, the stakeholders involved, the costs and funding sources. These action plans are to be drawn up by the end of 2019. The purpose of the workshop was to provide partners with additional input and inspiration for developing their action plans.
The project has now been running for almost three years, with the main focus being on exchanging experience concerning policies, strategies, innovation, ecosystems and concrete projects and initiatives in the health and care sectors. This has primarily been done through the so-called EEPE events (Exchange of Experience and Peer Evaluation). The last two years – referred to as Phase 2 – of the project's total duration of five years will focus on the implementation of the above action plans.
In the morning, participants were given the opportunity to get further information on good practice in a number of areas such as:
• Scaling of innovation in health and care
• Implementation of eHealth
• Coordination and governance role of the government
• End-user involvement/ empowerment (incl. informal and formal carers)
To this end, the partners had invited those who have been responsible for developing and implementing these good practices (Good Practice owners) to participate in the workshop. This way, the ITHACA partners got the opportunity to get more information from the people who represented the selected good practices in the above areas.
Good communication of the contents of action plans is important to ensure that it is clear what the partner wants to achieve by the actions contained in the action plan. To assist the partners in such communication, the representatives were introduced to the use of storyboards for their intended actions. As film school students, participants were taught how to develop a storyboard, including a framework for the story of the planned action, different types of images to visualize the story, and staffing of the story with different characters. In addition to being an innovative way of learning how to formulate actions, the individual storyboards served as the basis for a mutual communication of actions between the participants with the opportunity for dialogue between the partners.
In the afternoon the experience and learning related to action plan formulation was discussed followed by the review of a series of new Good Practices described by 7 partners.
On the second day, all nine partners presented their respective draft action plans. The plans were subsequently subject to detailed discussion, clarification and other feedback from the other partners. There was a great deal of debate with great benefits for partners to improve their action plans. The last two hours of the workshop were spent on improving the individual action plans based on new inspiration from good practice owners, and storyboards and feedback on the draft plans presented.
All in all a very profitable experience to the partners on the way to Phase 2 of the project.