What is needed for coordinated action for health?

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Background. Due to the multidimensionality of emerging health and societal issues, there is an increased necessity for coordinated action, that is, action in which organizations and clients in two or more sectors work together to jointly achieve an outcome. Coordinated action creates opportunities for exchanging activities, expertise, skills and resources. However, the different disciplines are not used to working together. Objectives. Coordinated action includes getting involved with working in a new area or setting, with new people and with different backgrounds, knowledge domains, interests and perspectives. In this paper, the challenges of coordinated action are discussed. The objective is to identify factors that are important in achieving and sustaining coordinated action for health. Method. Identification of these factors is based on the authors¿ experiences with coordinated action in community health promotion and on a review of literature. Results. Six factors are identified which are important in achieving and sustaining coordinated action: representation of relevant societal sectors including clients, discussing aims and objectives, discussing roles and responsibilities, communication infrastructure, visibility and management. Conclusions. The success of coordinated action depends on a well-structured process to support involvement, to nurture the collaboration process and to stimulate communication and the growth of positive relationships. Coordinated action can improve both health and social outcomes, and it has the potential for synergy. It is a challenge into which it is worthwhile investing time and energy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)i25-i31
JournalFamily Practice
Issue numberSuppl.1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • promotion
  • care


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