The FRESHER Scenarios offer a medium – long-term vision to policy-makers for planning future policy actions, delineating policy alternatives and new policy combinations concerning health and, especially, non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs).
Building the FRESHER Scenarios was a systematic and creative process, the focus being on how structural changes in governance, economy and society overall may influence citizens’ behaviours and consequently their health status and NDCs incidence. The research question that we address is related to “which are the main drivers of change that could reshape the socio-economic and political context and have a high impact in creating healthy future”.
In a first step, the project team conducted the “Horizon Scanning”, to select the most important short-, medium- and long-term trends and drivers related to health and NCDs. To complement the literature review on well-researched risk factors, three workshops (Vienna, Brussels, and Lisbon) were organized in 2015 to elicit stakeholders’ observations about possible changes, wider correlations and potentially emerging issues. The results of these consultations are included in the FRESHER report 3.1 “Horizon Scanning”.
In a second step, the project team aggregated and fine-tuned the identified drivers in eight key trends and launched a survey in June 2016 to collect stakeholders’ informed opinions on the importance of the trends in reducing the incidence of NCDs and on their uncertainty by 2050. The results of the survey together with factsheets describing the eight trends are included in the FRESHER report 4.1 “Health Stories”. After a refinement of the key trends to consider in the analysis, based on comments in the survey, wide review of foresight literature and attentive discussion within the consortium, the project team has built four FRESHER Health Scenarios, which present radically different visions on how the key trends could evolve and influence our health status in the future.
In addition, the integration of the scenarios and the micro-simulation model provided the basis for streaming the policy dialogue, thanks to the identification of possible strategic policy options and the Future Health Research Agenda, following the process detailed in the figure below.