Learning from games: Stakeholders’ experiences involved in local health policy

H.P.E.M. Spitters, L.A.M. van de Goor, C. Juel Lau, P. Sandu, L. Eklund Karlsson, J. Jansen, J.A.M. van Oers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Since public health problems are complex and the related policies need to address a wide range of sectors, cross-sectoral collaboration is beneficial. One intervention focusing on stimulating collaboration is a 'policy game'. The focus on specific problems facilitates relationships between the stakeholders and stimulates cross-sectoral policymaking. The present study explores stakeholders' learning experiences with respect to the collaboration process in public health policymaking. This was achieved via their game participation, carried out in real-life stakeholder networks in the Netherlands, Denmark and Romania. The policy game (In2Action) was developed and implemented as a 1-day role-play. The data consisted of: (i) observations and evaluation notes during the game and (ii) participant questionnaire after the game. All three countries showed similar results in learning experience during the collaboration processes in local policymaking. Specific learning experiences were related to: (i) the stakeholder network, (ii) interaction and (iii) relationships. The game also increased participant's understanding of group dynamics and need for a coordinator in policymaking. This exploratory study shows that the game provides participants with learning experiences during the collaboration process in policymaking. Experiencing what is needed to establish cross-sectoral collaboration is a first step towards enhancing knowledge exchange and more effective public health policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)i39-i49
JournalJournal of Public Health
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • collaboration process
  • learning experiences
  • policy games


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