Pre-conference: Navigating the international health information databases: unravelling the processes behind the numbers

Wednesday 28 November, 09:00 - 17:00

Organised by:

EUPHA Section on Public health monitoring and reporting, Joint Action on Health Information – InfAct, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Health Organization – Regional Office for Europe, European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)


Measuring, expressing and understanding population health outcomes and health systems performance indicators are crucial to track changes over time and differences between countries, as well as to identify areas of concern and possible actions. Therefore, it is essential for both researchers and policy makers to be able to interpret health information to turn it into meaningful action.

A number of international organisations collect and process health information in Europe, either separately or through joint data collections. In this pre-conference, workshop participants will be guided through major databases developed by WHO Europe, OECD and European Commission's Eurostat and JRC. Speakers from these organisations will first describe briefly the processes of collection, validation, standardisation and reporting of international health data, and will then guide participants through their databases and online systems, presenting practical examples on how the data can be used to assess population health and health systems performance and to inform decision making.

The pre-conference will be organised mainly as an interactive skill-building session where participants will:

  • discover what data are available in various international databases,
  • find out about commonalities and unique features of different databases (and why the data for the same indicators may sometimes differ),
  • hear about collaborative action, and
  • learn how to make the best use of these key databases.

In interactive practical guided exercises, participants will have the opportunity to gain in-depth insight by sharing their experiences and through direct interaction with data providers.


Herman Van Oyen - Sciensano, Belgium and InfAct – Joint Action on Health Information
Nicole Rosenkötter - EUPHA (PHMR) and NRW Centre for Health (LZG.NRW), Germany
Petronille Bogaert - EUPHA (PHMR), Sciensano, Belgium and InfAct – Joint Action on Health Information

PROGRAMME [Download the detailed programme here.]

09:00-09:30  Welcome, Overview of and connection between international databases
Nicole Rosenkötter and Petronille Bogaert, EUPHA (PHMR)


EU health statistics in Eurostat database
Tim Allen, European Commission, Eurostat

Measuring the cancer burden: the European Cancer Information System
Manola Bettio, European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)

10:30-11:00  COFFEE/TEA BREAK


The ECHI data tool and the state of health in the EU
Philippe Roux, DG SANTE, European Commission

Measuring the performance of health systems across European and non-European OECD countries: Special content and features of the OECD health database
Gaetan Lafortune, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

European health information – WHO Europe’s tools and practice
David Novillo Ortiz and Christian Gapp, World Health Organisation (WHO) Europe

12:30-13:30  LUNCH

13:30-14:15  EXAMPLES OF USE

Using international datasets for health system reviews and health system performance comparisons
Marina Karanikolos, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

Use of international databases – national perspective
Mikka Gissler, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Finland.

14:15-15:00  LET’S PUT IT INTO PRACTICE (PART 1) Interactive practical exercise using international databases - Facilitators

15:00-15:30  COFFEE/TEA BREAK

15:30-16:30  LET’S PUT IT INTO PRACTICE (PART 2) Interactive practical exercise using international databases - Facilitators


Project based databases – providing sustainability through the ESFRI roadmap
Petronille Bogaert, InfAct - Joint Action on Health Information 




  • Participants will be asked if they have a topic they would like to explore during the practical exercises.
  • Participants will be asked to bring a laptop during the pre-conference.

Registration fee
The registration fee is € 140 which includes networking lunch and refreshments.