Analyzing Relationships for Program Assessment

About the Author

CED Guest Author

Kendra Cotton is a project director with the Community-Campus Partnership.

Understanding existing professional and social relationships and their structures is vital to maximizing communication, nurturing supportive relationships and building efficiencies among collaborators. Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a multidisciplinary research method that is increasingly being used to uncover relationships among individuals and groups in both personal and professional contexts. SNA is a useful tool for evaluating programs in which relationships are important for outcomes. It allows evaluators to identify what the network is, how it operates, and how it affects program outcomes.

Through its project work with Caswell and Lenoir County organizations, the Community-Campus Partnership has cultivated an interesting collaborative network in each county with local government agencies, nonprofit entities and in some instances, private businesses. SNA is being used to assess, where possible, the strength of these relationships, but there is more work to be done in that regard. The sociograms included here provide informative visual illustrations of the partnership relationships to-date.

Of  the 19 total organizations that were participants in CCP related projects in Caswell County, 11 were government entities, six were not-for-profit groups and the remaining two were private entities.

Of the 42 total organizations that became partner participants in Lenoir County CCP related projects, 20 were government entities, 18 were not-for-profit groups and the remaining four were private entities.



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