On the 14th of March, 13 citizens of four neighbourhoods in Maastricht, the Netherlands, received their certificate for their participation in the project ‘health ambassador of Positive Health in the neigbourhood’. Mara de Graaf – van Haasen, deputy major of Maastricht Municipality awarded the citizens their certificate. In this innovative project crucial knowledge was yielded by citizens about the health enhancing and health damaging neighbourhood features, which are often a challenge to identify by policymakers.
Together the Citizen Scientists interviewed 49 fellow citizens and observed 50 situations or people. The Citizen Scientists shared their findings in 3 focus groups, which were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. With this knowledge which originates from the citizens themselves, policy can be tailored to the community. In addition, the Citizen Scientists were trained in the concept of health in the ability to adapt and self-manage, which increased citizens’ health literacy, health and resilience. PhD Sanne Grootjans and research assistant Ine Hesdahl – de Jong conducted the innovative project.