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PGOsupport proves its relevance to the Minister


The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport supports almost 200 patient and disability (PG) organizations across the Netherlands. According to the Minister, Mr Hugo de Jonge, these must focus as efficiently as possible on their core business: the client. This is why the Ministry established PGOsupport. PGOsupport facilitates all PG organizations, with anything from business operations to learning and development, and from strategy to empirical expertise. But what goes for PG organizations applies to PGOsupport itself in equal measure: how does PGOsupport prove and substantiate its own efficiency and added value to the Minister? And on top of that: how can it become even more relevant? MarketResponse entered into a monitoring process with PGOsupport that made all of this clear. From storytelling to sense-making sessions to an action plan. Cutting to the chase: everyone was more than happy with the results.

Patient and disability organizations should mainly be able to deal with what is their core business: promoting the best interests of the people they represent. PGOsupport is an independent networking organization for national patient and disability organizations (PG organizations). By offering advice and support they facilitate these PG organizations as much as possible. PGOsupport offers client organizations this support by order of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

To be able to provide such support properly and to be able to report to the Ministry, PGOsupport wanted to know what the issues and themes are that PG organizations are facing. This is where MarketResponse came in. Based on mutual trust, PGOsupport and MarketResponse together looked for the best way to gain insight into the wants and needs within PG organizations. With just a modest framework provided by the Ministry. Step by step, the contours of the project became clearer. This intense collaboration resulted in the PG monitor, an annual survey that first went live in 2017.

Just tell us

You can gather input from the organizations you support by just performing quantitative research. MarketResponse, however, believes in the power of stories. In their story, the person telling it is showing what inspires them, what they truly value and what’s on their minds. This is exactly what PGOsupport was looking for when developing a questionnaire. Therefore, we started the search for the ideal PG monitor including story-telling. We literally ask the PG organizations: “Just tell us”. What’s on your minds, what is your experience, what is your vision, what are bottlenecks, what are your needs? These stories offer a plethora of information. Issues come to light that you would have never hear about if you just asked focused questions.

Interpreting stories

In all, we got a hundred stories from the different PG organizations, covering a host of issues. The trick was to properly interpret these stories and take out the right insights. This is why we got together for a sense-making session. It was not the researcher who presented the outcomes, but it was the people from PGOsupport and representatives of the patient organizations who found the insights. Some were obvious, some quite surprising. Almost a hundred stories were pinned to the walls. Together we looked for the common

denominators and exceptions. The input we got from these stories served as a basis for the PG-monitor.


The challenge was to get sufficient response from the relatively small population – over 200 PG organizations. Together with PGOsupport we emphasized the importance of the survey for the PG organizations themselves. Taking part in the survey allows you to benchmark yourself against other PG organizations. The benchmark was presented clearly in a fact sheet per participating organization.

The complexity of the monitor did not make things easier. Per organization, we needed the input from no less than four key individuals. This is why the questionnaire was broken down into four modules, which were monitored on an overview page. This provided clear insight into which module had already been completed by each organization. Once all the modules of an organization had been filled in, the person with overall responsibility was prompted to give the questionnaire the final approval. This approach resulted in a 40% response rate.


The PG monitor offers PGOsupport rich input for its account to the Ministry. They used crosstabs for a detailed report. An accessible report of the overall results was presented to the PG organizations as well. For this, MarketResponse developed easy dashboards that are published on the PGOsupport website.

Concrete result

The results also offer PGOsupport handles for concrete actions. It turned out, for example, that PG organizations need support in the area of marketing & communications and change management. PGOsupport adequately responded to these needs by hiring people for these tasks. The monitor also showed that PG organizations have difficulty finding the right people for their boards and that they don’t have great faith in their own strategic qualities. For this, however, they hardly ever lean on PGOsupport. In these areas, there are clear opportunities for PGOsupport in terms of improving its services. In 2018, the first repetition of the survey has been scheduled.

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