Mapping the possibilities: Using network analysis to identify opportunities for building nutrition partnerships within diverse low-income communities

Opal Vanessa Buchthal, Jason E. Maddock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To identify communication and collaboration patterns among organizations involved in nutrition education within an ethnically diverse low-income community. DESIGN: A snowball sample methodology was used to identify 27 organizations involved in nutrition activities in the community. The researchers conducted an online survey and network analysis to identify communication and collaboration patterns among these organizations. SETTING: An urban neighborhood in Honolulu, HI. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals responsible for nutrition activities at state, county, and nonprofit organizations. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Network structure, betweenness, and centralization. ANALYSIS: Communication was uncentralized and collaboration was limited. Collaboration was affected by differences in mission, location, and population served. Child care/youth development organizations and community health centers provided links across the community. Agencies serving different ethnic populations were poorly linked and located on the periphery of the network. Ethnic-specific churches expressed strong interest in nutrition partnership but were not identified as potential partners by other agencies in the network. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Limited communication between agencies serving different populations in the same community may result in missed opportunities for collaboration. Network analysis is an effective tool for identifying these gaps and helps build community capacity for improving nutrition outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-307.e1
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • community development
  • community health education
  • community networks
  • social networking
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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