Community Partnerships Addressing Community Resilience: A Network Evaluation

community partnerships addressing community resilience

Community resilience has grown in importance in national disaster and recovery efforts, as have the number of community partnerships addressing community resilience. However, measurement of community resilience, particularly the content and quality of relationships aimed at improving resilience, is lacking. To address this gap, we used a social network survey to measure the number, type, and quality of relationships among organizations participating in 16 coalitions brought together to address community resilience in the Los Angeles Community Disaster Resilience project

These coalitions were randomized to one of two approaches (community resilience or preparedness). Resilience coalitions received training and support to develop these partnership and implement new activities. Both coalition types received expert facilitation by a public health nurse or community educator. We also measured the activities each coalition engaged in and the extent to which partners participated in these actvitivies at two points in time. 

We found that the community partnerships addressing community resilience were initially larger and had lower trust among members than the preparedness communities. Over time, these trust differences dissipated. While both coalitions grew, the resilience community coalitions maintained their size difference throughout the project. We also found differences in the type of activities implemented by the resilience communities; these differences were directly related to the trainings provided. This information is useful to organizations seeking guidance on expanding the network of community-based organizations that participate in community resilience activities.

Keywords: community resilience; disaster preparedness; community coalitions; social network analysis; public health nursing; disaster risk reduction; public health practice; PARTNER Platform

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