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Med Care Res Rev. 2003 Dec;60(4 Suppl):130S-160S.

Sustainability of collaborative capacity in community health partnerships.

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  • 1University of Michigan School of Public Health, USA.


Sustainability is a key requirement for partnership success and a major challenge for such organizations. Despite the critical importance of sustainability to the success of community health partnerships and the many threats to sustainability, there is little evidence that would provide partnerships with clear guidance on long-term viability. This article attempts to (1) develop a conceptual model of sustainability in community health partnerships and (2) identify potential determinants of sustainability using comparative qualitative data from four partnerships from the Community Care Network (CCN) Demonstration Program. Based on a grounded theory examination of qualitative data from the CCN evaluation, the authors hypothesize that there are five primary attributes/ activities of partnerships leading to consequential value and eventually to sustainability of collaborative capacity. They include outcomes-based advocacy, vision-focus balance, systems orientation, infrastructure development, and community linkages. The context in which the partnership operates provides the conditions for determining the appropriateness and relative impact of each of the factors related to creating consequential value in the partnership.

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