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Table 5 Dos and don'ts identified from experiences in the seven neighbourhoods

From: How can collaboration be strengthened between public health and primary care? A Dutch multiple case study in seven neighbourhoods

  Dos Don'ts
District health profiles • Do discuss needs with the relevant actors at the outset and obtain additional data. • Don't fail to agree on the content of the profile (general or focused).
• Do include in the profile a description of the local population (demography) and information about how the population age structure is likely to change over time (population prognosis). • Don't fail to obtain (sufficient) reliable local data.
• Do use municipal or regional data if no good neighbourhood data are available,. Be open about the data used and discuss how they should be interpreted. • Don't spend too long on data collection, because more or better data can always be found. The profile is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
• Do prepare an attractive presentation with a lot of illustrations suitable for the general public. Provide absolute data as well as percentages to help people relate to the information. • Don't fail to allocate enough time to developing the profile.
• Don't fail to allow sufficient opportunity for input from other partners when developing (themes for) the district health profile.
Policy dialogues • Do get to know the local actors before the dialogue and invest time in building relations so that the parties in question do take part. • Don't organise a meeting to select a theme if the theme is already decided (e.g., due to urgency of municipality's needs).
• Do make a clear choice either for an open dialogue or for a more thematic dialogue. • Don't fail to clearly define the objective of the dialogue.
• Do start the dialogue at an early stage, and consider organising several dialogues using various work forms (e.g., a dialogue with the neighbourhood council at an early stage in order to gauge what residents see as the issues). • Don't organise a dialogue without having sufficient time and funds to make it work.
• Do keep the organisation of the dialogue under your own control and plan it carefully. • Don't use the term 'policy dialogue' when inviting actors (refer to it as a 'neighbourhood dialogue' or 'meeting').
• Do consider holding several dialogues and use various work forms, since one dialogue session is often insufficient. • Don't allow the dialogue to become unstructured, or it will not yield much.
• Do get a councillor, local resident or well-known person to start the dialogue session. • Don't choose a profile presentation form that is unsuitable for the local actors.
• Do make connections with initiatives already in progress, because there are often a lot of them. • Don't fail to get important actors (e.g., local residents or GPs) involved, or you will not succeed in bringing people together or forging ties.
• Do conclude the policy dialogue with definite agreements.