Analysis of the Partnership for Health Promotion at School in Bulgaria
Year: 2017 Vol: 3 Number: 1
According to the concept of health promotion, health is a shared responsibility of individuals, the community, the state, and non-governmental organizations. Partnership offers great potential for addressing problems and achieving goals, but it is also associated with certain difficulties. Establishing a successful partnership requires common purpose, shared responsibilities, complementary competencies, collaboration, and mutual respect. The aim of this paper is to analyze whether partnership as a main principle of health promotion has been put into practice in the observed school community. A comprehensive medico-social survey on school health promotion was conducted from September 2012 to May 2013 over a representative sample of schools in the Pleven region of Bulgaria. Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire among 1,280 members of the school community, interviews with school principals, and a review of the documents. Questions are directed toward the elements of the coordinated school health model. Data analysis of the presented part of the study, which examined the partnership for health promotion at school, was consistent with the methodology of the partnerships analysis tool using a specially designed checklist for evaluation. Over 90% of the investigated subjects and organizations realize the necessity of partnership. They have a clear goal to improve the well-being of the school community and a shared understanding that the benefits from partnership outweigh the exertions and costs. On the other hand, not all potential partners are included in the process of planning priorities for action. Almost half do not always have a clear idea about their responsibilities for fulfilling the goals. Both the positive and weak points of the partnership were able to be considered. The necessity for partnerships in promoting school health is recognized but difficult to transform into real action due to limited competencies and collaborations.