Nivel’s Method Citizen Platform

Nivel’s Method Citizen Platform is both an infrastructure and a method to arrange in-depth conversations between citizens / patients, policy makers and experts on complex topics in healthcare.

Onderzoek met een BurgerplatformOne of Nivel's unique reseach methods

Nivel’s Citizen Platform is part of Nivel's research infrastructure, which consists of panels, national databases and monitors. With this research method, Nivel provides relevant information from  patients, clients and citizens, healthcare providers. Policy makers can use this information to refine policy and organisation in healthcare. The platform may also be used in international studies, for example by organizing platforms in different countries on the same topic.

Purpose of the Citizen PlatformPurpose of Nivel’s Citizen Platform

Most people have difficulty forming their opinion on complex or abstract healthcare topics. Research methods such as a questionnaire, an interview or a group discussion then yields insufficient results. For the purpose of identifying how people really think about these topics, Nivel features the Citizen Platform. By organizing interactive meetings with participating citizens, led by a Nivel expert, we learn more about people experiences with and opinions on healthcare issues.

'Research through interactive sessions with citizens about complex healtcare issues'

How does the Citizen Platform function?How does Nivel’s Citizen Platform function?

Nivel’s Citizen Platform consists of a group of citizens that participates in an interactive meeting about a current, complex healthcare issue:

  1. In advance, the participants receive extensive information through one or more presentations from experts.
  2. During the meeting, the participants make group assignments. In this way they get a good picture of the issue in order to formulate their opinion and make a valuable contribution to the ensuing discussion.
  3. The participants conduct a high-level group discussion, led by a Nivel researcher. At the end of the discussion the participants in the group do not need to agree on the topic discussed.
  4. Nivel researchers map out the outcomes of the meeting for the client, who receives a clear overview of the differences and needs of citizens about the issue.

Would you like to know more about the research method of the Citizen Platform? Take a look at our Guidelines (in Dutch).

Examples of topics in a Citizen Platform session

The topics of discussion are diverse. For example, they can be about:

  • Where does personal responsibility begins and ends in healthcare?
  • What is the added value of e-health and what are its (im)possibilities?
  • How high is the solidarity in healthcare and what is its value?

Participants on a Citizen PlatformParticipants on a Citizen Platform session

The participants, who are approached by Nivel, are members of Nivel’s Dutch Healthcare Consumer Panel. This panel includes 11,000 citizens aged 18 years or older, living in the Netherlands. Nivel selects its participants to be approached on the basis of relevance with regard to the subject.

Positive experiences with the Citizen PlatformPositive experiences with Nivel’s Citizen Platform

Participants, researchers and clients are usually very enthusiastic about the Citizen Platform meetings. A few things they particularly appreciate:

  • The participants differ in age, education and background, raising a variety of issues related to a topic. This is not only appreciated by the clients but also by the participants themselves and the researchers.
  • The meetings are very valuable: they gain insight into the way in which different citizens view a policy issue and into the values and principles play a role in this. In a short time, varied and surprising ideas emerge.
  • A Citizen Platform meeting gives policymakers the needed inside information to explain policy to people who are not involved with it on a daily basis.

What are the benefits of research with the Citizen Platform?What are the benefits of research with Nivel’s Citizen Platform?

The Citizen Platform method provides you with the active involvement of citizens in having a say in your current healthcare or policy issue. Nivel researchers will map out the opinions of the citizens in the Citizen Panel for you in an interactive way.

It is the ambition of Nivel to use the Citizen Platform in international studies, for example by organizing platforms on similar topics in different countries.
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What can Nivel do for you?What can Nivel do for you?

Parties in the healthcare sector can, together with Nivel, organize a Citizen Platform on a topic of their choice. It is the ambition of Nivel to use the platform in international studies, for example by organizing platforms on similar topics in different countries.
Would you also like to organize a Citizen Platform together with Nivel? Or would you like to receive more information about the platform and its possibilities? Please feel free to get in touch with one of the Nivel contacts on the right.
We look forward to getting in touch with you.


Bos, N. Nivel’s Method Citizen Platform. From: [Last update 12-February-2024; consulted on 17-June-2024]. URL: