Health Equity 2020 project: Reducing health inequalities


EAEA GRUNDTVIG AWARD 2015. Socioeconomic disadvantage is strongly associated with indicators of ill health in all Member States and regions of the European Union. Health Equity 2020 project aims to assist Member States and regions to develop evidence-based action plans on reducing health inequalities, and seek funding to address the issues.

The article series spreads good practices by introducing the nominees of the EAEA Grundtvig Award.

Taking action on health inequalities is not only about safeguarding human rights; it also has a strong economic rationale and extends to basics such as safe water and adequate sanitation. Worse health among those with lower socioeconomic status leads to labour productivity losses, increased demands for health care and higher uptake of social security benefits.

The project competed in the European category of the EAEA Grundtvig Award 2015.

Peer support to fight inequalities

Health Equity 2020 project seeks to achieve its objectives by combining evidence and learning on health inequalities, use of Structural Funds for health-related investments and social innovation to inform knowledge exchange and capacity building. The project supports participating regions in this work with training, education and regional peer support.

In the framework of the project, a comprehensive toolkit was developed which assists regions drawing up evidence based action plans to address socioeconomic health inequalities. It was applied in a series of workshops which took place in several of the participating regions.

Through the usage of a multi stream model, the project can reach its diverse target groups: the 13 participating regions and their key stakeholders at regional and national level, other EU regions and European stakeholders. Additionally, citizens is a critical group since a health equity orientated project should ensure that participating regions involve population groups and civil society organisations in regional/local action groups tasked with developing action plans.

Sustainable results

The long-term goal of the project is to maximize information exchange and sharing of good practice between member states and regions by maintaining the most important results of the project.

Besides sustaining communication about project results via different networks of partners Health Equity 2020 also focused on sharing the developed to resources of the toolkit, developing a case study database that provides practical knowledge and consulting new regions in using the tool kit.

Health Equity project

Project coordinator:
Maastricht University, FHML, Department of International Health, Oana Neagu


  • Health ClusterNet, UK
  • Erasmus MC, The Netherlands
  • Medical University of Lodz, Poland
  • Centre for Health and Development Murska Sobota, Slovenia


Every year, EAEA hands out the EAEA Grundtvig Award to successful projects in adult education. In 2015, three projects were awarded with a prize: an international, a European and a national initiative. The theme of this year’s award was Adult Education and Health.