Masterclass ‘Philosophy of collaboration between science, policy and practice in public health’.
Maastricht, 20-21 March 2013 > Programm


Much appreciation for Master Class in Public Health Innovative, daring, inspiring and definitely worth repeating. The responses to the Master Class in Maastricht on collaboration in public health were positive. "This should be a mandatory Master Class for anyone who works with other partners", noted one of the participants at the final evaluation. 'Philosophy of policy, practice and research in public health care. Valuable interactions or unwanted obligations?’ That was the title of the Master Class which took place on 20 and 21 March.

The Master Class was provided by programme leader Maria Jansen of the Academic Collaborative Centre for Public Health Limburg and Klasien Horstman, Professor of Philosophy of Public Health at CAPHRI. The Public Health Master Class in Maastricht was the third Master Class in a series of five. The two day Master Class counted 20 participants from different organisations from across the country, ranging from local health authorities and the RIVM to the Dutch Inspectorate of Education and the Inspectorate for Youth Health Care. Also employees of the southern Limburg Regional Health Organisation (GGD) were well represented.

In two days the participants learned a more philosophical way of looking at their own role in partnerships and joint responsibility. That happened on the basis of lectures and discussions on research projects in which many different parties work together. In addition there was room for debate in working groups on the basis of concrete assignments.

The use of metaphors to understand collaboration processes was encouraged in individual writing exercises. After the Master Class all participants were clearly enthusiastic. They judged the instructional effectiveness, relevance and the practical usefulness of the Master Class on average with respectively 8, 8.3 and 7.9. With these Master Classes ZonMw wants to strengthen the scientific quality of the local Regional Health Organisation and has therefore financed the development of these classes only once. When successful the Master Classes may be repeated in the future.

The fourth Master Class in the series is planned this fall and will take place in Wageningen. Topic: the evaluation of interventions in practice.

In the spring of 2014, there will be a Master Class in Maastricht again. This will be about the cost-effectiveness of public health and will be provided by Maria Jansen and Silvia Evers, Professor of Public Health Technology Assessment at CAPHRI. "Especially in public health, cost-effectiveness is a difficult subject. The effects are not always detectable in the short term. In addition, you have to make many assumptions, such as estimated revenues as a result of social participation," says Maria Jansen. She is pleased that the first try-out with the Master Class has been successful.

This increases the likelihood that the five Master Classes will be offered in the future by the research schools and NSPOH