How Communities Work Together: Learning from the Chicago Community Networks Study
Learning from the
How do community groups collaborate to improve schools, address violence,
and rebuild homes and businesses? What strategies do groups take to connect
with each other to improve their communities? Are some forms of collaboration
more effective than others?
To answer these questions, we must understand how organizations work together, what interorganizational networks look like, and what they can accomplish for individual groups and communities. Networks help community groups implement projects, respond to crises and opportunities, and mobilize for change. At the same time, we know from experience and research that some kinds of community networks may be more effective than others.
The Chicago Community Networks study is an unprecedented opportunity to explore and examine how networks are structured and how they function. Conducted in nine Chicago neighborhoods the study takes a mixed-methods approach, combining formal social network analysis with in-depth field interviews in an extensive effort to measure how community organizations collaborate on local improvement projects and how they come together to shape public policy.
Over the course of the next year, this series will explore:
The Promise of Comprehensive Community Development
Ten Years of Chicago’s New Communities Program
Beyond the Neighborhood
Policy Engagement and Systems Change in the New Communities Program
Dynamics of Neighborhood Quality in Chicago
An Analysis of the Interaction among Quality-of-Life Indicators from the New Communities Program Evaluation