Religious Congregations' Collaborations

With Whom Do They Work and What Resources Do They Share in Addressing HIV and Other Health Issues?

Published in: Health Education and Behavior, v. 39, no. 6, Dec. 2012, p. 777-788

by Laura Werber, Kathryn Pitkin Derose, Blanca Dominguez, Michael Mata

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This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

This study explores how religious congregations interact with other community organizations to address health and, in particular, HIV-related needs within their membership and/or local communities. Case study data from a diverse sample of 14 urban congregations (6 Black, 4 Latino, 2 White, and 2 mixed race-ethnicity) indicate that they engaged in three types of relationships to conduct HIV and other health-related activities: (a) resources flowed to congregations from external entities, (b) resources flowed from congregations to external entities, and (c) congregations interacted with external entities. These types of relationships were present in roughly equal proportions; thus, congregations were not primarily the recipients of resources from other organizations in these interactions. Financial, material, and human capital resources were shared across these three relationship types, and the most common organization types that congregations were involved with for health efforts were prevention and social service organizations, health care providers, and other congregations. In addition, congregations tended to have more collaborative relationships with other faith-based organizations (FBOs) and tended to engage with non-FBOs more to either receive or provide resources. Results suggest that congregations contribute to community health by not only sponsoring health activities for their own members but also by providing specific support or resources to enhance the programming of other community organizations and collaborating with external organizations to sponsor congregation-based and community-based health activities.

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