2021 Annual Conference




Registration is now closed for the SPHeRE Network 7th Annual Conference.


The 2021 conference theme is ‘The Value of Research and Evidence in a Crisis’.


Download the Conference Timetable







Dr Josep Figueras, MD, MPH, PhD (econ), FFPH is the Director and cofounder of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. In addition to WHO, he has served major multilateral agencies such as the European Commission or the World Bank and has worked as policy advisor in more than forty countries within the European region and beyond. He is Co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Pan-European Monti Commission, and member of several governing, advisory and editorial boards including the governance board of the European Health Forum Gastein. He is honorary fellow of the UK faculty of public health, received the Andrija Stampar Medal for excellence in Public Health and a Doctorate Honoris Causa from Semmelweis University; and he has three times been awarded the EHMA prize for best annual publication. He is currently visiting professor at the London School of Economics, and external examiner at London, Maastricht and Cork Universities. He was director of the MSc in Health Services Management and lecturer at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He started his career as specialist in Family and Community medicine in Spain.

His research focuses on comparative health system and policy analysis and is editor of several publication series in the field including the European Observatory series published by Open University Press and (since 2019) by Cambridge University Press. He has published a wide range of volumes recently including topics such as Health Systems Performance Assessment (2020 forthcoming), Value based Health Care (2020), Health Systems Resilience (2020) Economics of Healthy Ageing (2018), Health Systems for Prosperity and Solidarity (2018) Health Systems Governance (2016) Economic crisis: impact and implications for health systems policy in Europe (2015) European Reference Networks in Health Care (2015) Health systems, health and wealth: assessing the case for investing in health systems (2012) Health professional mobility and health systems in the EU (2011) and Cross border health care in the EU (2011).

In 2020, the European Observatory has developed a platform to monitor the health systems response in Member States across the European region and North America. COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor.

Dr. John Cuddihy, M.B., Bch, B.A.O., MPH, FFPHMI has been director of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre since July 2019.

He was previously Director of Public Health and Specialist in Public Health Medicine in the HSE South East Public Health Department.

Prior to his Public Health Medicine posts, Dr. Cuddihy worked in General Practice and hospital medicine in Ireland and the UK.



Professor Pete Lunn is the founder and head of the Behavioural Research Unit (BRU) at the ESRI. His primary area of study is how people make decisions that affect their financial, environmental and health outcomes. The BRU has pioneered the use of experimental methods for addressing policy problems in Ireland.

Pete has been a member of the Behavioural Change Subgroup of NPHET and currently sits on the COVID Communications and Behavioural Advisory Committee for the Department of Health. His team have conducted multiple behavioural studies since March 2020 designed to improve public communication about the virus and to support compliance with public health guidance.

Professor Susan Smith is Professor of Primary Care Medicine in RCSI Medical School and also works as a General Practitioner at Inchicore Family Doctors in Dublin 8. Her research interests relate to the primary care of patients with chronic conditions with a focus on improving outcomes for patients with multimorbidity and related clinical issues such as medicines management. She has an interest in health equity and coordinates the Deep End Ireland Group, which advocates for appropriate primary care services for socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. She has been the lead investigator on several HRB funded randomised controlled trials based in Irish general practice. She leads the HRB Collaborative Doctoral Award in Multimorbidity, is a member of the Steering Committees of the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research and is Associate Director of the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network of Ireland. She has an interest in evidence synthesis and is an active author and editor with the Cochrane Collaboration and is the Clinical Lead on the HRB Collaboration in Ireland for Clinical Effectiveness Reviews.

During the COVID-19 pandemic she has been a member of the core ICGP/ AUDGPI team supporting the ICGP Frequently Answered Questions service for frontline GPs. She has also supported the HIQA Evidence synthesis team which was repurposed to provide rapid evidence synthesis to inform decision making by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). She is a member of the COVID19 Expert Advisory Group, which provides advice based on rapid reviews and consideration of available evidence to inform the published Advice for NPHET.

Don’t forget to join our SPHeRE Network mailing list