Inclusion strategies and potentials of caring communities in Switzerland

The research project deals with different forms of caring communities and asks how they develop and ensure their existence. A particular focus is on inclusion strategies and the diversity of those involved.


  • Lead school School of Health Professions
  • Additional schools School of Social Work
  • Institute Institut für partizipative Gesundheitsversorgung
  • Strategic thematic field Thematic field "Caring Society"
  • Funding organisation BFH
  • Duration (planned) 01.09.2023 - 30.06.2024
  • Project management Anita Schürch
  • Head of project Anita Schürch
  • Project staff Anita Schürch
    Riccardo Pardini
    Dr. Karin Haas
  • Keywords Caring Communities, participatory research, inclusion, civic engagement


The concept of 'caring communities' has been raising high expectations for years with regard to overcoming an emerging care crisis. Particularly in an ageing and diverse society, the question arises as to whether and how existing caring communities succeed in addressing and involving population groups with diverse characteristics, especially vulnerable and/or withdrawn people. If caring communities are to develop their true potential and contribute to social and health equity, this aspect is central. The few empirical studies carried out to date are mostly based on individual case analyses, which does not adequately reflect the diversity of the current implementation of caring communities in Switzerland.

Course of action

The planned participatory research project aims to conduct a nationwide survey on the characteristics, inclusion strategies and potential of active caring communities in order to create a new knowledge base. Together with the national Caring Communities Network as well as local actors and those who have not yet been reached, a suitable methodology will be developed to survey these questions. The research results should also contribute to the development of practice by being processed into suitable practice-oriented tools in a participatory manner.


On the one hand, the research project is intended to create a new knowledge base as the first systematic Swiss-wide study of involved and potential stakeholder groups, characteristics and structural features of active caring communities. On the other hand, the findings and insights gained on inclusion strategies and experiences should be made available to practitioners, for example in the form of a reflection tool, and support active caring communities in their focus on diversity, inclusion and stability. In order to ensure both academic knowledge gain and high practical relevance, a consistently participatory approach is chosen from the outset.

Looking ahead

The planned third-party funded project will create new knowledge in order to adapt the innovative 'Caring Community' care model even better to the challenges of an ageing and diverse society. By focusing on people who are less heard, the project contributes to reducing social inequality and promotes equal opportunities and participation for people of all ages and circumstances.

Ein besonderer Fokus liegt auf Inklusionsstrategien und Diversität der Beteiligten.
Ein besonderer Fokus liegt auf Inklusionsstrategien.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 3: Good health and well-being