First stage (2005-2008)

Budget: € 14,3 million
Funding: Ministry of Health, Welfare & Sports and the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research

During the first stage of the programme, nine partnerships were established between municipal health services (‘GGD’) and universities. These partnerships are known as the Academic Collaborative Centres for Public Health. They provide a context for collaboration between practitioners, policy makers and researchers, in which projects can be conducted covering the various themes in public health. The Centres thus support evidence-based action by municipal health services aimed at strengthening public health care.

Goals

In the first stage, the specific goals of the programme were:

  • To strengthen and establish a knowledge infrastructure with an equal balance between science and practice;
  • To support researchers (PhD or otherwise) working in regional or municipal public health departments;
  • To foster high-quality scientific research relevant to day-to-day practice in public health services;
  • To disseminate and implement research results;
  • To improve the application of evidence-based interventions and methods in regional or municipal public health services.

Results

At the end of the first stage of the programme, the following practical results have been achieved:

  • Nine Academic Collaborative Centres are established;
  • Improved collaboration between policy makers, researchers and practitioners in the field;
  • Professionals now have more concrete, applicable methods and instruments at their disposal;
  • More evidence-based information is available as a basis for policy formulation.

It has been found that bringing practitioners, policy makers and researchers and the education sector closer together, requires a long-term investment.

Public health themes

Within the nine Academic Collaborative Centres, these public health themes are covered:

  • Infectious disease
  • Youth healthcare
  • Health promotion
  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental health
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