Participatory Quality Development

Participatory Quality Development refers to the continuous improvement of health promotion and prevention through an equitable collaboration between the service providers, the target group, the funding body and other important stakeholders. This collaboration is characterised by its aim for the strongest possible participation and ownership of all stakeholders - especially the target group - in all phases of developing an intervention:

Participatory Quality Development depends significantly on the local knowledge of stakeholders and assists them in utilising it, reflecting on and expanding this knowledge. It employs participatory data collection and project planning methods for this purpose.

Participatory Quality Development uses concepts and methods that are tailored, feasible, useful, participatory and evidence-based:

Tailoredmeans that the concepts and methods are adapted to local conditions, e.g. to the composition of the target group, the mission and values of the service organisation and the available capacity and infrastructure.

Feasible means that the time needed for a chosen concept or method of quality development is proportional to the time needed to provide the intervention itself. This results in a quality development strategy which is limited to what is necessary and which can be documented without great effort and can thus be integrated into daily working routines.
Concepts and methods of quality development are useful when they provide results that can be translated directly into specific ideas for improving health promotion and prevention interventions.

Participatory concepts and methods are those that give primacy to the subjective observations of service providers and service users. The local knowledge of (potential) users is of particular value in all phases of intervention planning and evaluation.

Evidence-based means that the concepts and methods allow for a systematic critique of local health promotion and prevention activities and that they are informed by the findings of current research.

Participatory Quality Development follows the Action Research tradition, known internationally in the health field as community-based participatory research orcollaborative action research. In regard to the question of proving the effectiveness of interventions, Participatory Quality Development is focused on generating practice-based evidence.