Evaluating Community Partnerships Addressing Community Resilience in Los Angeles, California

Published in: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 15, Number 4 (April 2018). doi:10.3390/ijerph15040610

Posted on RAND.org on May 04, 2018

by Malcolm V. Williams, Anita Chandra, Asya Spears, Danielle M. Varda, Kenneth B. Wells, Alonzo L. Plough, David Eisenman

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Community resilience has grown in importance in national disaster response and recovery efforts. 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 partnerships 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 activities at two time points. We found that the community resilience coalitions 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 types 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.

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