Healthy Communities Through Integrated, Participatory Health Promotion Strategies

Promoting the population’s health is a central political goal of both the European Union and the Federal Republic of Germany. Integrated municipal strategies for health promotion (IMS) are an important means for reaching this goal. “Integrated” means that stakeholders at the local level work together in order to coordinate their various activities and services in the interest of the public’s health through the entire life span. 

The stakeholders include civil society and governmental bodies addressing issues of health (including health surveillance) and social welfare as well as education, urban planning, community development, transportation and the environment. The collaboration aims at enabling a healthy life from birth.

The research consortium PartKommPlus is investigating how IMS can be developed and implemented successfully. This includes examining how citizen involvement in such strategies can be maximized and how collaborations between the various stakeholders, including collaborations between academic researchers and civil society, can be strengthened.

The consortium has members from the states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, and Baden-Wuerttemberg. PartKommPlus is a project of the German Network for Participatory Health Research (PartNet).

In Participatory Health Research, academic researchers, practitioners, and other engaged citizens work together in order to understand what helps people to stay healthy and what causes them to become ill. Based on this knowledge, measures can be taken on behalf of the health of the population.