Up to now, there are only inadequate scientific foundations for achieving or assessing the quality of health-promoting measures. Because of their multi-causality and owing to external influences, for example, recording the effects of individual services involves substantial methodological problems that yet have to be tackled. A general professional consensus regarding the demands to be imposed on effective and efficient health promotion has so far only been reached in part. As a result, there is a great need for action in this respect.
In view of the innumerable host of health-promoting offerings, projects, media and measures from the various providers in health promotion, we urgently need national overviews of the complex and heterogeneous field of health education. The aim is to obtain overviews at the national level that provide answers to the following questions, among others:
- Who works on what topics and covers which target groups, i.e. which providers/institutions/organisations are constantly active in health promotion?
- Who permanently produces media and offers measures that can be made available nationwide?
- What media and measures are available for which target groups?
- Have the media and measures been evaluated?
Being a neutral institution not driven by market interests, BZgA can contribute to achieving and maintaining high quality standards on the market for health promotion and prevention offerings. All quality assurance measures are geared to maximum health benefits, on the one hand, and justifiable costs, on the other. In detail, our contribution to achieving and maintaining quality consists in:
- The development of guidelines, quality criteria and quality assurance models for the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of preventive activities,
- The recommendation of minimum requirements for sub-fields of prevention,
- The evaluation of certain didactic-methodological approaches,
- The qualification of multipliers.
The high quality of health promotion can only be ensured on a permanent basis by passing on experience to our cooperation partners and to multipliers. The aim is to render needs-based prevention services, on the one hand, and to ensure appropriate utilisation of prevention offerings, on the other. This requires the preparation of empirical values in the form of working aids and recommendations, as well as the development of curricula for use in basic and specialist vocational training, as well as non-vocational continuing education.
There is a need for new and additional access and implementation channels in health promotion. We will develop and test appropriate strategies, particularly taking the new media into account. The aim is to provide more effective and more efficient approaches for solving specific problem situations.
Consensus conferences are organised in order to transfer results, findings, experiences and recommendations relating to quality assurance to our cooperation partners and to multipliers, thereby giving important stimuli for more effectiveness and efficiency in the field of health promotion and health education.
Cooperation between key providers
We fulfil the cooperation function by playing a supporting and coordinating role. The purpose of these cooperation efforts is:
- To pool activities,
- To safeguard the professional soundness of education measures,
- To reach a consensus on content,
- To improve the coverage of determined needs (nationwide).
In accordance with the federal principle, special cooperative relationships exist with the Federal Länder. The Länder are the central partners in education campaigns of nationwide importance. Cooperation with partners within the healthcare system (e.g. physicians and pharmacists, health insurance funds) and from outside (e.g. the education system, the working world and the leisure sector) is the basis for the actual implementation and dissemination of health-promoting measures.
At the international level, we particularly cooperate in the action programmes and networks of the European Union (EU). We also participate in health promotion activities in connection with quality assurance aspects, and in the programmes for fighting AIDS and drugs. In this way, we exploit the possibilities of international cooperation to improve health education and health promotion in Germany. Another important partner is the World Health Organization (WHO), for which we work as a collaborating centre in the field of sexual and reproductive health.