Evaluating the effectiveness of community health partnerships: a stakeholder accountability approach.

Academic Article


  • Community health partnerships (CHPs) are promoted as effective cooperative interorganizational relationships to improve community health status while conserving resources. However, relatively little is known about the effectiveness of these partnerships in achieving their goals. Using concepts from a network effectiveness framework (Provan and Milward, 2001) and a network accountability framework (Gamm, 1998), the authors propose that successful CHPs are those that are effective in multiple levels (community, network, organization/particpants) and/or accountability dimensions (political, commercial, clinical/patient, and community). The combined frameworks serve to identify a number of community health stakeholders and associated interests that vary according to accountability dimensions to which CHPs respond. Using survey data from over 400 participants in 25 Community Care Networks, the authors assess the usefulness of the conceptual framework in evaluating CHP effectiveness. The results suggest that CHP participants recognize three different levels of analysis in their evaluation of network effectiveness: community, network, and organization/participant. Furthermore, the results show that respondents distinguish between two different organization/participant benefits: enabling and client services. While respondents rated the intangible resources or enabling benefits (e.g., legitimacy and learning) of partnership participation most highly, client services resulting from CHP participation (e.g., client services and referrals) received the lowest ratings. Community benefit (e.g., improving community health status) and network effectiveness (e.g., ability to provide efficient, high quality health and human services) received ratings that fall between the enabling and client services. Given the relatively good scores (above 60%) received by CHPs on all four effectiveness dimensions considered here, it appears that the majority of respondents find at least some evidence of network effectiveness across all three levels of network effectiveness and all four dimensions of accountability.
  • Keywords

  • Community Health Planning, Community Networks, Community Participation, Community-Institutional Relations, Cooperative Behavior, Cultural Diversity, Ethnic Groups, Forecasting, Hospital Administration, Humans, Social Responsibility
  • Author List

  • Weech-Maldonado R; Benson KJ; Gamm LD
  • Start Page

  • 58
  • End Page

  • 92
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 1