Background: Networks are an essential component of community-based health research. Community-based networks require a high degree of collaboration, and the quality of this collaboration is a key factor for intervention success. As such, it is important to measure collaboration quality through network evaluation. Established tools, such as social network analysis, primarily measure connections between network members as opposed to network quality. Additionally, only few tools developed for this purpose are used in practice.

Methods: This paper describes the process of developing a network assessment tool to measure the quality of network collaboration in practice. To this end, we collaborated with practice partners from a community-based health promotion network and the community health service. We adopted a mixed-methods approach consisting of a literature review and a needs assessment involving practical experts in Germany. On this basis, we developed a new network evaluation tool, the Self-Evaluation Tool for Network Quality Assessment by Practitioners in Community Health Promotion (SNAP-HP), in cyclic-iterative collaboration with our practice partners.

Conclusions: The next steps include piloting, evaluating, and adapting the SNAP-HP for final open access.