BigO meets with public health experts in Ireland

On Friday 18 May, a focus group with public health experts and BigO partners organized by Professor Geraldine Doyle was held at the University College in Dublin (UCD), Ireland. The aim was to set priorities for public health use of BigO findings. Experts in attendance included Profess Kevin P Balanda (Director of Research and Information Institute of Public Health in Ireland), Dr Sarah Gibney (Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative at the Department of Health in Ireland) and Celine Murrin (Assistant Professor in the school of Public Health, UCD).  The meeting commenced with a mock-up demonstration of the BigO web portal that will be accessible to public health authorities to enable them to evaluate their communities in relation to childhood obesity.  Christos Diou and Irini Lekka from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece gave the presentation and raised questions that were used as basis for the ensuing discussion.

The three public health experts agreed that BigO would be useful for Public Health Officers in exploring the potential effect on behaviour change for various types of actions in their community.  They highlighted the need to ensure credibility of BigO data and to develop an approach of knowledge mobilisation, so that intermediate results become accessible to policy makers and health programme developers as the project evolves.