Network for Evaluation of One Health

Training Schools

During its COST funding period, NEOH conducted three training schools on evaluation in general, and on One Health evaluation in particular, to promote the development of the handbook and its application and develop One Health evaluation capacity. A total of 68 trainees benefitted from these training schools.

3rd Training School 
University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
13th to 15th September 2017

Group of people in front of screen

The third training school on ”Evaluation of One Health” was a training school targeted specifically at trainees from inclusiveness countries with the aim to give participants an introduction to evaluation in general and One Health evaluation in particular using the framework developed in the Network for Evaluation of One Health. There was also a strong focus on the evaluation of surveillance. The training school took place from the 13-15th of September 2017 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, hosted by the Faculty of Medicine. Download the programme here.

The Training School gave participants the opportunity to learn about evaluation concepts, approaches and research in other disciplines and to exchange thoughts and ideas with experts in the field.

On the first day, participants were warmly welcomed by the local organisers, Prof. Semra Cavaljuga (Faculty of Medicine) and Dr Sabina Seric-Haracic (Veterinary Faculty). Following this, the vice-rector of the Faculty of Medicine, Prof.  Aleksandra Nikolic, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences Sarajevo, presented the basic definitions and concepts of evaluation, gave insights into evaluation approaches and evaluation types and stimulated animated discussions about complex systems and unintended consequences. Following this, Dr Barbara Haesler, Royal Veterinary College (London, UK), explored with participants the key elements of Theories of Change and how to frame evaluation questions. Afterwards, trainees had time to work on a problem and programme of their choice (case studies) and apply the theory covered to a context of their choice.

Group of people at table

On the second day, Dr Sabina Seric-Haracic presented an overview of the work conducted in the Network for Evaluation of One Health. This gave a useful starting point for Dr Simon Ruegg, University of Zurich, who introduced basics on systems theory and presented the practical NEOH tools to understand and map such systems within the framework elaborated. Trainees were encouraged to describe the systems in which their case studies were set, which stimulated intense and lively discussions and highlighted the intricate complex trade-offs and perspectives within One Health challenges (i.e. reduction in measles vaccination coverage in Bosnia and Herzegovina, high number of street dogs in Macedonia, trichinellosis from pork and wild boar consumption in Greece). Dr Simon Ruegg then presented archetypes of complex dynamic systems to gain some understanding on the problems at hand. Finally, the participants had the opportunity to use the NEOH evaluation tools to assess One Health-ness. In the evening, the local organiser treated everybody to a city walk with explanations of the country’s history and culture before the group enjoyed an excellent dinner in a local restaurant.

Group of people watching presentation

The third day was dedicated to the evaluation of surveillance. Dr Marisa Peyre from CIRAD (France) and Dr Barbara Haesler gave an introduction to evaluation of surveillance in general and economics of surveillance in particular before presenting publicly available surveillance design and evaluation tools that trainees could access and use to apply their newly gained evaluation knowledge. Dr John Berezowski from the Veterinary Public Health Institute in Bern (Switzerland) explained the concept of One Health surveillance and gave an overview of the vision, mission and activities of the International Society for Infectious Disease Surveillance. He presented results from a survey conducted to assess the workings and understanding of One Health surveillance among surveillance experts and practitioners highlighting key gaps and needs in the field. The training school was rounded off by participants presenting the outcomes of their case study discussions.

For NEOH members, all the presentations and training materials used can be accessed on the document management system Alfresco.

Summary of training school on University of Sarajevo website:


Bosnian and English:


2nd Training School 
Novi Sad, Serbia, 29th of June to 1st of July 2016

The second training school on ”Evaluation: How to apply the evaluation framework, protocol and index” took place on 29th June to 1st July in Novi Sad in Serbia. The Training School was preceded by a Working Group 2 (WG2) meeting on the 28th of June 2016 in the same location. Download programme here.

group photo from training school     group listening during training school

The aim of the training school was to lead researchers through the different steps leading to the evaluation of OH initiatives using the NEOH handbook for evaluation of One Health as a basis. It gave the 29 participants the opportunity to interact with experts on evaluation, to learn about evaluation concepts, approaches and research in other disciplines and to exchange thoughts and ideas with experts in the field with the aim to evaluate One Health case studies. A brief summary is provided here; the detailed report can be accessed on the network document management system Alfresco (member access only).

The programme was composed of a mix of lectures, exercises and discussion:

o   Dr Simon Rüegg, WG1 leader, a veterinary epidemiologist from the University of Zürich, Switzerland provided an overview of the content of the NEOH Handbook and presented in detail the NEOH evaluation framework including guidance on how to evaluate the “One Healthness” One Health initiatives:

o   Dr Marlène Läubli Loud, an independent consultant and trainer in public sector evaluation, gave enlightening presentations on self-evaluation and policy. She discussed the difference between evaluation and research, and guided participants on how to frame an evaluation and how to select a suitable evaluation question:

o   Prof. Sandra Buttigieg, Head of Department of Health Services Management, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Malta, presented on multidisciplinary & interdisciplinary collaboration explaining key factors of transdisciplinary collaboration. She highlighted the various dimensions of inter and transdisciplinary collaboration and leadership and explained the importance of recognising ontributions from the non-scientific community, and to engage in shared leadership.

o   Prof. Dragan Rogan, specialist in infectious diseases at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Novi Sad, gave a presentation on One Health in Serbia drawing on his experience in North America & Europe. He explored its different meanings for farmers, slaughter houses, food processors, packers, sellers, restaurants, but also the general population, scientists, and legislators.

o   Prof. Zoran Katrinka presented the perspective of the WVO ( on One Health and outlined how its strategic priorities include areas directly concerned with One Health, such as Veterinary Education, Zoonotic Diseases, Pharmaceutical Stewardship, Organizational Growth and Partnerships. He stressed that policy documents should have One Health concepts, which should also be embedded into curricula to promote close collaboration between medics and /vets in the future.

Further, Dr Marlène Läubli Loud, Dr Simon Rüegg, Dr Flavie Goutard and Dr Sandra Buttigieg led a roundtable discussion on mixed methods research. They discussed the difference between qualitative and quantitative approaches and their application in the evaluation of One Health initiatives.

Each day, participants had time in dedicated sessions to work on their case study evaluation designs and interact with the trainers and colleagues.

participants listen to presentation    group photo

The social programme was organised by the local organiser. On the first day the group went to a vinery, went to see the vineyard and also did wine tasting of four different kinds of vine produced right there. After that the group went to a restaurant beside the river Danube for a nice dinner. On the second they everybody went for a city tour walk – around the center, all the way to the Danube river and back to the old city center with some stories about the city on the way. These activities gave people ample time to socialise and continue some of the discussions started during the day.

1st Training School 
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 24th-26th June 2015


The first training school on “Evaluation: Best practice approaches and applications in multiple disciplines” took place on the 24th to 26th of June 2015 in Cluj-Napoca in Romania. The purpose of this training school was to give NEOH members the opportunity to learn about evaluation concepts, methods, approaches, perspectives and terminology used in a variety of relevant disciplines with the aim to facilitate the development of the One Health evaluation handbook (see Working Group 1 for details). Experienced and competent trainers, all experts in their fields, delivered a stimulating NEOH WG1 meeting and training school that helped the 20 participants not only learn about approaches in other fields, but also gave everybody an opportunity to connect, wonder, reflect, discuss and engage. The programme can be found here and all presentations, further reading and notes can be accessed on the network document management system Alfresco (member access only).

People at Training School

The programme was composed of a mix of lectures, exercises and discussion:

  • Dr Marisa Peyre, CIRAD-Agricultural Research for Development (France and Vietnam) set the scene by providing an introduction to evaluation concepts describing the general evaluation context and explaining why we evaluate and what it is we evaluate. She also introduced critical concepts such as the theory of change, described essential steps to conduct an evaluation and outlined general evaluation approaches.
  • Dr Andrei Mihalca, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (Romania), the local organiser, not only took wonderful care of all participants in terms of logistics and introduction to Romanian culture, but also gave an insightful presentation on his expansive international work on ticks and tick-borne diseases, their One Health impact and aspects relevant for evaluation.
  • Prof. Jakob Zinsstag from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute used his long-standing experience and expertise in One Health to illustrate critical characteristics of One Health that impact on evaluation. Using case studies from various countries on topics as for example brucellosis surveillance, health service provision in pastoralists, cross-sector rabies control, or integrated human and animal sanitation and nutrient recycling, he outlined the challenges that arise when moving from disciplinary or sectoral thinking to a systems approach to health.
  • Dr Philip Davies, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation London (United Kingdom), drawing on longstanding experience and expertise in public policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation, and knowledge transfer, helped participants gain an understanding of impact evaluation using quantitative evidence (e.g. longitudinal studies, experimental designs, quasi-experimental designs) supported by qualitative evidence (e.g. focus groups, oral histories). He introduced important evaluation designs to establish a net impact over a counterfactual such as interrupted time series, difference-in-differences or randomised controlled trial using various examples to explain the usefulness of these approaches and potential pitfalls.
  • Timothy Ehlinger, University of Wisconsin (USA), explored in his session different perspectives of “knowing” and the models we use to acquire, validate and value knowledge. He discussed the importance of acknowledging that evaluators are part of the system and may at the same time evaluating and influencing it; i.e. boundaries may be changing throughout, before moving on to talk about complex dynamic systems and risk propagation. He then used the example of Wisconsin water resources to demonstrate the application of artificial neural networks in an ecological and human health risk assessment with non-linear risk relationships.
  • Prof Chinwe Ifejika Speranza, University of Bonn and United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (Germany), made participants reflect on the term resilience and its multiple dimensions, before describing the essence of resilience. She then moved on to discuss different uses of the term resilience in multiple fields and to introduce characteristics and dynamics of resilience. Finally, she outlined available methods and their challenges to assess resilience and encouraged participants to think about the links and communalities of resilience thinking and one-health thinking.
  • Profs Maurizio Aragrande and Massimo Canali, University of Bologna (Italy), covered the fundamental theory of tools used in economic evaluation, provided a comprehensive account of what economic evaluation is and why we need it and explored carefully the history and development of economic reasoning and the resulting paradigms relevant for evaluation. Further, they introduced common tools and methods used in economic analysis (e.g. cost-benefit analysis, cost-utility analysis, valuation of non-market goods) and put a lot of effort into explaining to the group “The economist’s mind: what is there inside?” and how the economic thinking is evolving.

arious images of activities at training school

Each day, time was set aside for small group discussions to reflect on One Health core characteristics and suitable evaluation approaches for the handbook using the wicked problem solvingTM  method, a tool used to apply systems thinking for management. Participants were encouraged to illustrate the complexity of One Health relationships using the process of disease emergence at the human-animal-environment interface and to consider the perspective of the individual person, human population, domestic animal, wildlife, the forest, minister of health, and minister of labour and economy.

Post-it note exercise

In a spotlight round everybody shared their thoughts on different approaches to evaluating One Health and the NEOH activities bringing up the topics scope of the handbook and chapter structure/refinement, case study selection, stakeholder views and demands, the complexity of One Health, cooperation and collaboration within NEOH, selection of methods and learning together. A strong agreement crystallised during the training school regarding the need to characterise One Health. Therefore, the last wicked problem solvingTM session was specifically targeted at characterising One Health aiming to answer the question “What makes One Health One Health”. The outcome of this exercise will be made available here in due time.

The third training school will form part of the NEOH conference and be directed at key stakeholders with the aim to provide recommendations for policy makers, and publicise and communicate the handbook. For those who cannot attend the Action Conference and Training School, further dissemination and events may be hosted in strategic locations (e.g. before or during international symposia) in the final year of NEOH.