The main objective of WP8 is to involve stakeholders (e.g. cities, knowledge institutes and NGO’s) and international experts during the lifetime of the project to develop evidence-based health policies and data-driven interventions for mental health and to give the context for co-design that leads to the Equal-Life Tool that will be implemented in WP9.

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WP8 deals with the stakeholder involvement and intervention development. In order for stakeholders to make interventions, a toolkit will be developed.WP8 gives context for co-design by stakeholders that leads to establishing the right research questions and finally based on answers the Equal-Life toolkit. Finally, activities related to the development of a business case will be organized to ensure further spin-off of the project by means of writing an exploitation plan

18 month update

WP8 revolves around involving international stakeholders and experts in the field of children’s mental health and cognitive development throughout Equal-Life. The work aims to make sure that the generated knowledge (on exposome, mechanisms, and health effects) in Equal-Life is developed in line with the needs of the broader society. The available knowledge of the involved (public and private) stakeholders and their identified problems in practice will help to interpret the results. This is envisioned to feed into recommendations for policy and interventions for stakeholders.

In 2020 and 2021, WP8 activities have resulted in the Strategy report on stakeholder identification, interaction and involvement and a list of a broad range of international stakeholders to be invited to take part in the Equal-Life project. This list provided a basis to invite stakeholders to take part in three stakeholder surveys (DELPHI consultations), as well as several (digital) World Café meetings. The outcomes help us understand the challenges that stakeholders face in the field of children’s mental health and cognitive development. 

The World Café meeting outcomes also provide essential initial input for the toolkit that the WP8 team is developing together with WP9. This toolkit will inform those in the field on children’s mental health and cognitive development to enhance healthy environments for children and adolescents at different stages of their development and provide a set of possible interventions, models and measurement approaches. This “living” toolkit is currently in its developing phase and will take shape throughout the Equal-Life project. 

Currently, a ‘Governance and implementation model’ is being explored by the team. The understanding of governance by, and the role of, stakeholders is important for the value of the results of Equal-Life towards policy making. The notion that not only governmental bodies but also the research community and interest groups can influence the policy making needs to be adopted within the work of Equal-Life. This model, together with the stakeholder list, provides the basis for the set-up of a demonstrator; a tool that will enable access to knowledge, exchange and interaction between, and with, all stakeholders during the Equal-Life project. The demonstrator is currently discussed and will likely take the shape of a website.

Within the European Human Exposome Network (EHEN, see work package 11), WP8 has made its contribution to the Communication and Dissemination Strategy. They are also involved in the ‘Ethics and legal issues’ working group and currently the Communication and Dissemination working group.