Method to Improve the Effectiveness of Community-Based Participatory Research Projects: A Social Network Approach
- Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 14, Number 3, Fall 2020
- pp. 393-406
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Background: To successfully complete a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project, different types of relationships and different degrees of stakeholder investment are required, depending on context. We propose a method that will help assess relational connectivity and investment in many types of CBPR structures. Using data from a CBPR project, a network method is examined to test its effectiveness in identifying the CBPR project’s strengths and weaknesses.
Methods: A social network method is proposed to increase CBPR effectiveness. This involves constructing various social networks related to the CBPR project: a current network, preferred networks for each collaborative stakeholder, and a projected network. These measure the state of the current network and provide a roadmap—via the stakeholder and projected networks—to what we believe may be an ideal CBPR network structure.
Results: Analyses indicated areas of the network where improvements could be made to expand collaboration. Network analysis revealed differing views of the preferred social network from various subgroups, indicating where modification of ties and perspectives of stakeholders could improve the collaboration.
Conclusions: This social network method promotes analysis of CBPR factors and provides information for changes designed to improve CBPR collaborations and potentially lead to better outcomes.