Local collaboration to contribute a healthy growth and development in the neighborhood
07/02/2022 —


On Monday November 8th and November 29th we organized two interactive meetings in Nieuw-West with various organizations from the neighborhood that focus on a healthy growth and development during the first 1000 days of a child's life. More than 20 different organizations were present, from concerned residents, mothers from Nieuw-West, the daycare center, the housing association, the maternity care partners and the municipality of Amsterdam. The first meeting at the beginning of November was live in the Fruittuin van West. It was so nice to see and speak to each other live again. We had to continue the second meeting online, but even online, valuable stories were shared and ideas were collected to continue working the development. 

 "During both meetings it was special to notice how much energy, knowledge and enthusiasm there is among all parties around the first 1000 days." (Response participant)

Widely supported action plan
The purpose of the meetings is to arrive at a widely supported plan containing actions that contribute to healthy growth and development during the first 1000 days of a child's life in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. In order to arrive at a sustainable plan, we started making a system map during this meeting. This system map shows that there are many interrelated factors that influence a healthy growth and development. By making a system map you can visualize the dynamics behind a complex issue, which also makes more starting points for further research visible.

Together we have identified 35 factors that, according to the group in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, play an important role. There was a great diversity of factors that were mentioned. Think, for example, of 'little suitable homes for families with young children', 'a complicated care process', 'the range of 0-2 years in the neighbourhood', 'length of parental leave' or 'perceived stress'. We linked these factors together and together we looked for points of application. These starting points form the start of the action plan that contribute to healthy growth and development for children in Nieuw-West.

''It was great to see how we were able to provide insight into such a complex problem together in an accessible way. '' (Response participant)

Mothers for mothers
In the second meeting, themes were prioritized and first ideas were presented for the action plan. Two mothers from Nieuw-West kicked off the meeting by presenting various ideas that they came up with during a meeting on the same topic last summer that they believe will contribute to a healthy start for children in Nieuw-West. Two ideas were given extra attention: an informal mothers for mothers support group with a kids corner and a website/platform on which all the offer and activities surrounding the first 1000 days in Nieuw-West are made transparent and updated. These two ideas can serve as input to get started later - if we continue working in action groups from 2022.


Continued 2022
After these great ideas from the residents and mothers from Nieuw-West, we presented the detailed system card and the most important themes to everyone, after which they could vote for their top 5. The question was: what do you think is important to work on? in Amsterdam Nieuw-West? This resulted in a top 9 of themes. Based on this, subgroups have been formed that have further explored the themes. We concluded the afternoon with no fewer than 13 concrete ideas that will form the base for the action plan. Together with the local coalition in Nieuw-West and the Masterplan Nieuw-West, we are looking at how we can give all actions a place and attention so we can start implementing and evaluating the first actions in January.

We are looking forward to work together on the healthy growth and development of children in Amsterdam Nieuw-West in the new year.

More information or would you like to get in touch? Send an email to: