Fundamental change needs structural funding
Changing an environment where the unhealthy choice seems easier than the healthy choice requires a long-term vision and sustained action. And that needs a long-term financial commitment as well. Our aim was to persuade stakeholders to endorse our long-term vision and support the programme both financially and in kind for the long term, rather than viewing JOGG as a project for a couple of years.
We have been investing in dialogue with municipalities all over the Netherlands to make policymakers more aware of the high rates of youth obesity and weight problems and what this means for the future of these young people. We have continued to explain why an integral community-based approach will work and argued that this is a mutual responsibility. JOGG can set up and facilitate the implementation of the community-based programme. While in return the local community pays for the support and training provided, facilitates the appointment of a local JOGG manager and makes at least a three-year commitment to start with. Before working with the private sector we are clear that cooperation has to go beyond just financial support. Both JOGG and associated businesses will be much more credible when they work together on the basis of a shared vision and a concrete plan.
A manager is more hands on and steering. A director is generally arm's length and works top down through subordinates. From what I know of the JOGG approach this role is more that of a manager, but obviously you have to decide. Elsewhere reference is made to the JOGG programme manager.
We have learned that we need to have all the stakeholders involved if we are to make a change for our youth and enable them to grow up in an environment which fosters a healthy lifestyle. Irrespective of whether those stakeholders are public services and policymakers, the private sector or civil society organisations. Based on the understanding that we have a mutual responsibility, it is reasonable to expect that a financial or in-kind commitment (or both) is made as well. Based on this multi-stakeholder approach we have created a firm foundation for longer-term political and financial commitment - including nationally.
We have managed to generate long-term financial support for local implementation both nationally (from the Ministry of Health) and from our stakeholders (such as private companies and civil society organisations).
For public-private partnerships we have developed a vision of how we would like to work together with businesses, which goes beyond financial support.
Generating financial support will always be on our agenda and over the coming years we intend to explore new sources of funding to broaden the support for our work.