Collaboration between practice, policy and research in local public health in the Netherlands

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The collaboration between policy, practice, and research in local public health was studied in a multiple case study. The assumption is that collaboration will result in more solid evidence and higher quality standards in public health. METHODS: First, collaboration barriers were studied by analysing the work cycles of the three domains, which are considered to operate as niches. Actors at the administrative, institutional, and individual levels were identified. Theories that describe processes of the convergence of the three niches through practical strategies were sought. Finally, the application of the practical strategies in six cases was evaluated. RESULTS: When administrative, institutional, and individual changes develop in a similar fashion and in parallel with each other, the likelihood of successful collaboration that goes beyond the initial period is greater. The findings suggest that organisational development (OD) strategies that address collaboration at the institutional level make a relatively strong contribution. CONCLUSIONS: Top level consultations just after local elections, investments in OD strategies and a new kind of accountability in public health are recommended. The assumption that successful collaboration contributes to enhanced effectiveness, efficiency, and efficacy of public health could not yet be unequivocally confirmed. AD - Academic Collaborative Centre of Public Health Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands. Maria.hansen@ggdzl.nl
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-307
JournalHealth Policy
Volume86
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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