Implementing Multiple Intervention Strategies In Dutch Public Health-Related Policy Networks

Improving public health requires multiple intervention strategies. Implementing such an intervention mix is supposed to require a multisectoral policy network. As evidence to support this assumption is scarce, we examined under which conditions public health-related policy networks were able to implement an intervention mix. Data were collected (2009–14) from 29 Dutch public health policy networks. Surveys were used to identify the number of policy sectors, participation of actors, level of trust, networking by the project leader, and intervention strategies implemented. Conditions sufficient for an intervention mix (≥3 of 4 non-educational strategies present) were determined in a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. A multisectoral policy network (≥7 of 14 sectors present) was neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition. In multisectoral networks, additionally required was either the active participation of network actors (≥50% actively involved) or active networking by the project leader (≥monthly contacts with network actors). In policy networks that included few sectors, a high level of trust (positive perceptions of each other’s intentions) was needed—in the absence though of any of the other conditions. If the network actors were also actively involved, an extra requirement was active networking by the project leader. We conclude that the multisectoral composition of policy networks can contribute to the implementation of a variety of intervention strategies, but not without additional efforts. However, policy networks that include only few sectors are also able to implement an intervention mix. Here, trust seems to be the most important condition.

Publication | Harting, J., Peters, D.T.J.M., Grêaux, K., Van Assema, P., Verweij, S., Stronks, K. & Klijn, E.H. (2019). Implementing multiple intervention strategies in Dutch public health-related policy networks. Health Promotion International, 34 (2), 193-203.