Partnering to Promote Healthy Aging: Creative Best Practice Community Partnerships, produced by the National Council on Aging, provides recommendations regarding partnerships and features vignettes of seven best practice programs.
A Sustainability Planning Guide for Healthy Communities, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, features a module on coalition and partnership development.
The Abundant Community website, developed from books written by Peter Block and John McKnight, provides resources and tools for engaging families and neighborhoods.
Partnerships consist of two or more organizations that collaborate to achieve a common goal through effective use of expertise, personnel, and other resources. Partnerships among the healthcare, government, community, and academic sectors are often formed to facilitate the implementation of EBPs.
There are numerous benefits associated with the creation and utilization of partnerships. Several of these are listed below.
To form a partnership, first clarify the purpose and goals of your organization. Once this is done, identify organizations that have purposes and goals similar to those of your organization. Consider if these organizations have expertise and resources that complement your organization. At this point, you are ready for one of the most difficult tasks of partnership formation: approaching other organizations to propose the partnership. Discussion regarding the possibility of a partnership may be accompanied by site visits and the exchange of literature about the potential partners. If leaders from the proposed partners agree on a partnership, then a partnership agreement that details the rights and responsibilities of each partner should be developed. Once the partnership agreement is in place, the next steps are to collectively identify common goals, select strategies for goal achievement, and assign roles and tasks to each partner.
The specific characteristics of successful partnerships can vary in numerous ways. However, several characteristics that consistently produce superior results have been identified. Many of these are described below.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provides an explanation of the role of community-based participatory research
The website of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations features a toolkit on community-based participatory research.
Community-based participatory approaches involve many partners. In these approaches, each stakeholder (e.g., audience member, organization staff member, community official, volunteer) plays a role in needs assessment and program selection. Each stakeholder’s participation is welcomed and valued. There are a lot of benefits to participatory approaches, including those listed below.
One of the easiest and most common community-based participatory approaches is for an organization interested in implementing a health program to form an advisory board or coalition comprised of representatives from each stakeholder segment. These individuals can brainstorm ideas, provide feedback, and carry out tasks.