Assessing the Effectiveness of Partnerships between Local Health Departments and Community and Faith-Based Organizations during Emergencies

Year: 2012
Funding: NNPHI PHS Natural Experiment Award
Status: Completed

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This project measures the effectiveness of partnerships developed among community based organizations (CBOs) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) to build community resilience to disasters. Local Health Departments (LHDs) are facing extraordinary pressure to meet new CDC public health partnership requirements for disaster resilience; yet, there is little information on how to develop and strengthen those collaborations. This study uses a combination of qualitative interviews and a network analysis tool, PARTNER (Program to Analyze, Record, and Track Networks to Enhance Relationships) to achieve its aims. PARTNER collects data through a brief online survey, analyzes the connections among partners, and visually maps these networks. Data collected by the project determines the quality of relationships among partners, how they change over time, and enable examination of how they are leveraged to achieve resilience outcomes. Sixteen communities chosen for the study were randomly assigned to one of the two study conditions, Community Resilience or Enhanced Preparedness, allowing assessment of resilience outcomes in eight communities in LA County. This research represents a partnership among several organizations including the RAND Corporation, the LAC DPH, Emergency Network Los Angeles (the County's VOAD), and UCLA. A series of products are available including brief summaries of findings and an online website for CBOs and LHDs, academic journal articles, and oral presentations at relevant conferences.





Malcolm Williams & Anita Chandra
RAND Corporation

Research Areas