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Participation changed: The method of cooperative planning

Social manager Zsuzsanna Majzik presented cooperative planning as part of the “Poverty and Health” congress

Die Kooperative Planung auf dem Kongress Armut und Gesundheit

“From the crisis to Health in All Policies” - under this motto, from 16.-18. March 2021 the largest public health congress in the German-speaking area "Poverty and health" instead of. This year the congress was held digitally for the first time with more than 2000 participants. Zsuzsanna Majzik, senior consultant and social manager at matrix, has been attending the congress regularly for ten years, and has been a member of the Participation Congress Committee for two years: "My goal is to help ensure that more and more people - who are currently experiencing a wide variety of participation restrictions - are given real opportunities to participate in health and social life . I find this goal technically, personally and also politically very important. "

Kooperative Planung

In the “Participation changed!” Session last week, she and Dr. Annika Frahsa from the University of Tübingen and Andrea Wolff from the State Center for Health in Bavaria e. V. proposed the method of cooperative planning. Using three practical examples, it was shown that cooperative planning can be used in a wide variety of socio-political topics and is suitable for the participation of vulnerable groups and for the organization of cross-departmental cooperation. Practitioners from the fields of inclusion, health promotion and labor market policy shared the experience they have gained within their projects.

Cooperative planning is a working method based on the guiding principle of participation. Social questions and problems are tackled collectively, through the cooperation of politics, administration, business, associations and the people who are actually affected in their everyday lives. They are experts on questions and topics that accompany them on a daily basis and, as such, should actively identify problems and contribute their ideas. All actors work together on an equal footing from the start, any difficulties that may arise are resolved in the group.

Prozessbegleitung mit der Kooperativen Planung

A challenging task, the time, patience and, last but not least, the moderation of experienced process facilitators requires. But cooperative planning has amazing potential - the participatory approach creates a space for mutual, equitable exchange that is otherwise hardly available in society. And: projects that are planned cooperatively are often more successful. They are better accepted by the target group who helped shape them.

"As a practitioner in the field of health equality, I worked with the method for eleven years and, with the help of the approach (and the people who tried this method together with me in scientific projects), led smaller and larger projects to resounding success, ”reports Zsuzsanna Majzik. Through the cooperative planning, supposedly unreachable target groups could be reached and offers could be sustainably anchored structurally. We have also succeeded in persuading practitioners and decision-makers to rethink so that they can also establish needs-based offers and structures in the future. In the local context, the health chances of numerous people in difficult life situations were permanently improved.

For the matrix, Zsuzsanna is currently supporting five selected municipalities in the Aktion Mensch model project “Kommune Inklusiv”.

Further information on cooperative planning is available from Aktion Mensch website.

If you would like to find out more about the work of the matrix in the field of health and inclusion, you can go to the website of the advisory team here.