208023 Using Social Network Analysis to Diagnose Hurdles in Sustaining Collaboratives

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 1:15 PM

Alberto J.F. Cardelle, PhD, MPH , MPH Program, East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, PA
Lyndsay Nybeck, MPH, CHES , MPH Program, East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, PA
Leah Posivak, MPH candidate , MPH Program, East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, PA
Community-based interventions are increasingly required to develop collaboratives (a structure or group working together to achieve a shared vision) to affect change across the socio-ecological model. However, as most public health professionals are acutely aware there are challenges in sustaining collaborative efforts, and although there is greater push for collaboration, collaboratives don't always succeed (NAACHO 2007).

The purpose of this paper is to explore how organizational network analysis can assist future collaboratives understand how the different identified hurdles to collaboration – (Individual, Organizational & Systemic, Linden 2002) affect collaboratives throughout the life cycle of the effort. This paper analyzes a five year effort by the Steps to a HealthierPA program to form and sustain a chronic disease prevention collaborative using social networking analysis.

Data from the participating organizations is collected semiannually. The survey collects data on the number of contacts with each participating organization (degree of centrality) the nature of the contacts (degree of closeness) and level of involvement with each of the organizations according to 5 levels of collaboration (degree of clustering).

The results show that the Steps collaborative has i) increased the overall degree of centrality (the number of links); ii) initially developed a decentralized network through a dispersed set of linkages; and iii) as the collaborative matured the network centralized and clustered around centers of funding. In addition the study shows that in this lifecycle “individual” and “organizational” hurdles are of greater importance at the beginning, and it is “systemic” hurdles that emerge as collaborative mature.

Learning Objectives:
a) Explain the application of social network analysis to collaboratives. b) Demonstrate the use of social network analysis in diagnosing the success and failure of collaboratives

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Associate professor of Public Health in health policy and planning. Ten years expereince in program evaluation and academic research on collaboratives. Have served as statewide lead evaluator for CDC funded Steps to a HealthierPA project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.