NCD Policy Academy


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UN and WHO has acknowledged that the global burden and threat of non-communicable diseases constitutes one of the major challenges for development in the twenty-first century, which undermines social and economic development throughout the world, and threatens the achievement of internationally agreed development goals. Therefore as a response to United Nations General Assembly 16 September 2011 Sixty-sixth session Political declaration[1] of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases and WHO 2008-2013 Action plan for the global strategy for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases[2] there is a strong need of high level expertise and capacity building in the area of noncommunicable disease prevention and control.

There is huge international expertise cumulated during former intensive activities in NCD control prevention and control especially in the frame of WHO CINDI (Countrywide Integrated Noncommunicable Disease Intervention) program. Development of NCD Policy Academy is natural continuum of CINDI ideas and possibility to spread scientific, advocacy, leadership, political and other experiences collected during this program.


Aim of the international training is to inform and empower participants to raise the priority accorded to noncommunicable diseases (NCD) in development work at global and national levels, and to integrate prevention and control of such diseases into policies across all government departments. Seminar also aims to help to improve their national intersectoral programmes. The seminar will offer the opportunity for participants to understand different aspects of working across sectors related to expertise and competencies, project management, and governance and will give an overview of available tools.


  • To help to establish and strengthen national policies and plans for the prevention and control of NCD.
  • To promote interventions to reduce the main shared modifiable risk factors for NCD: tobacco use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol.
  • To promote partnerships and leadership for the prevention and control of NCD.
  • To monitor NCD and their determinants and evaluate progress at the national, regional and global levels.
  • To develop a better understanding of the decision-making process and context for development and implementation of NCD policies on intersectorial level.
  • To promote better stronger linkages between research and policies to support action.
  • To share examples of NCD policy action.
  • To identify and share relevant advocacy strategies and tools.
  • To improve skills & capacity of promotion approaches into NCD policies and interventions.

The seminar is aimed at middle to high level health policy decision makers.


The seminar combines medical and psychosocial behavioral theories with practical examples of NCD

prevention programs and strategies. Practical and interactive methods to study empowerment and leadership possibilities in NCD control and prevention will be used. Several WHO and other international strategies (including the Action plan for implementation of the European strategy for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2012-2016, WHO Global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol[3], WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control[4], WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health[5]) will serve as background.

Seminar will be focused on fiscal policies in tobacco, alcohol and food area. Participants will have opportunity not only hear presentations from the experts but also to analyze problem from different sides including epidemiology, policy, leadership, politics etc. Most of the seminar activities will be interactive, involving participants in active discussions and planning. That will not only ensure continuum and deeper understanding of complexity of prevention and control of NCD risk factors, implementation of the main “health in all policies” philosophy but also will create networking between participants, researchers and academia. 


Professor Vilius Grabauskas, Chancellor of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for the Prevention and Control of NCDs, Co-director of CINDI

Professor Sylvie Stachenko, professor of the University of Alberta, Co-director of CINDI.

Dr. Gauden Galea, Director of the division of NCD and Health Promotion at WHO Regional Office for Europe.

Professor Ken Zakariasen, Professor at University of Alberta, Canada.

Assoc. professor Aurelijus Veryga, Head of Health Research Institute at Lithuanian University of Health Sciences.

Other visiting experts.


The Seminar will be organized by the Health Research Institute (Lithuanian University of Health Sciences) and University of Alberta in collaboration with WHO. HRI is a WHO Collaborating Centre for Noncommunicable Disease Prevention, Health Promotion and Monitoring.


The interactive seminar will last for three days and will take place from 24-26 September 2012, in Birštonas, Lithuania.

Provisional agenda

  1. Learning and understanding of basic concepts and available tools for working across sectors:
    1.    Terminology;
    2.    Strategies to promote intersectoral action for health;
    3.    Steps towards implementing intersectoral action for health related to: expertise and competencies; project management; governance.
  2. Capacity building to work on fiscal policies for tobacco, alcohol and nutrition;
  3. Sharing knowledge and learning from the experience of other WHO European Countries;
  4. Networking between countries and experts involved;
  5. Follow-up recommendations and plans.