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Maximising the effectiveness of multi-platform networks in health and development: A case study of Be-Cause Health

Van Steirteghem, Samuel, Sakellariou, Dikaios and Gyselinck, Karel 2019. Maximising the effectiveness of multi-platform networks in health and development: A case study of Be-Cause Health. Journal of Public Health Aspects 6 , 1. 10.7243/2055-7205-6-1

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Abstract

Background: Networks have become a widely-used approach to address the complexity of issues around international health and health equity, and many types of networks have been described. The added value of networking is not straightforward and it should be documented. Be-Cause Health (BCH) is a unique, multistakeholder network linking the Belgian actors of the health and development sector, creating a partnership to support their commitment to equitable health. Consequently, BCH has very broad objectives with creative and dynamic outcomes. The aim of this study was to explore if the structure and process of the BCH network could be adapted to improve its effectiveness. Methods: The overall framework of the project included a narrative literature review combined with qualitative semi-structured interviews. The literature review looked at the structure and process of networks and the means of evaluating network effectiveness. The results of this review were used to inform the interviews of key Be-Cause Health members. Results: The reviewed articles illustrate the diversity of networking activities and the complexity of their evaluation, suggesting the use of participative evaluation methods to capture the intangible outcomes as experienced by the members themselves. The interviewees reported that the major benefits of their BCH membership were information sharing and connecting with peers. They felt the growth of the BCH network was mostly related to its culture of trust among members, to the inspiring leadership, to the concrete activities it could organise, to its flexible structure tailored to their needs,and to the support of the secretariat and to the embeddedness of the network in a wider institution with secured public funding. They identified a need for improved internal and external communication and for more concrete objectives of the working groups. Conclusion: The BCH network is a unique response to the complex challenges of health equity and development. The outcomes of such complex networks cannot be measured with a simple quantitative method, and require participative methods of evaluation. There is no formula to predict the change of effectiveness that would result from a change of structure.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Publisher: Herbert Open Access Journals
ISSN: 2055-7205
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 November 2019
Date of Acceptance: 19 September 2019
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2019 16:30
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/126647

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