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Chapter 4. Managing Organizational Support for Community Engagement

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Michael Hatcher, DrPH, David Warner, MD, Mark Hornbrook, MD


A great deal has been researched and written on collaborative processes that support community engagement, but the literature does not offer a systematic review of how successful organizations provide the structural support needed to plan, initiate, evaluate, and sustain collaborative processes that produce collective community actions. Butterfoss (2007) states that a convening organization “must have sufficient organizational capacity, commitment, leadership, and vision to build an effective coalition” . However, there is little research concerning these characteristics.

This chapter presents a review of frameworks to help organizations determine the capacity they need to support community engagement. It includes a set of testable propositions about required capacity. The frameworks have been developed by matching the structural capacities required for any endeavor as defined by Handler et al. (2001) with the prerequisites for effective community engagement identified through: (1) the nine principles of community engagement (Chapter 2), (2) community coalition action theory (CCAT; Butterfoss et al., 2009), and (3) the constituency development framework (Hatcher et al., 2001; Hatcher et al., 2008; Nicola et al., 2000).

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