Cross-sector collaboration for a healthy living environment: Which strategies to implement, why, and in which context?

N. J. E. van Vooren*, H. W. Drewes, E. J. de Weger, I. M. B. Bongers, C. A. Baan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Background:
Working toward a healthy living environment requires organizations from different policy domains and nongovernment partners involved in public health and the living environment to collaborate across sectors. The aim of this study is to understand how this cross-sector collaboration for a healthy living environment can be achieved.

Methods:
The realist evaluation approach was used to investigate what strategies can be used in which contexts to achieve cross-sector collaboration. The “Collaborative Adaptive Health Networks” framework was used as a theoretical framework. Seventeen partners of three Dutch projects collaborating for a healthy living environment in different regions were interviewed about their experiences during the initiating phase of their projects.

Results:
Seven themes for achieving cross-sector collaboration were identified, namely creating a feeling of equivalence, building trust, bridging different perspectives, providing clarity regarding roles and tasks, creating commitment, creating active engagement, and understanding whom to engage and when. For each theme, the strategies that were used, and why, were specified.

Conclusion:
This study provides new insights in how cross-sector collaboration for a healthy living environment can be achieved in different contexts. Whether the start of a cross-sectoral collaboration is successful is largely influenced by the choice of leadership and the interorganizational relations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6250
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • INTERSECTORAL COLLABORATION
  • POLICIES
  • cross-sector collaboration
  • healthy living environment
  • realist evaluation

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