The Role of Social Capital in Community-Based Organizations

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The Role of Social Capital in Community-Based Organizations & Community Health Improvement

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The Role of Social Capital in Community-Based Organizations

  1. 1. The Role of Social Capital in Community-Based Organizations & Community Health Improvement
  2. 2. With much appreciation to the co- investigators, staff, students, advisory board members, other community partners, and our SIP Research Network (Tulane, St. Louis, New Mexico) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  3. 3. Umbrella Project <ul><li>CDC funded cross national study on Social Capital/Community Capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Chicago Project looks at 4 orgs </li></ul><ul><li>During this presentation only discussing </li></ul><ul><li>1 case study of a Chicago CBO </li></ul>
  4. 4. Project Goal To describe the ways in which community-based organizations contribute to and use social capital in their work to improve community health.
  5. 5. ¿Qué Significa “Capital Social”? ¡ La Comunidad Siempre ha Entendido!
  6. 6. What is Social Capital? <ul><li>A multi-dimensional construct usually applied to describe </li></ul><ul><li>communities and the relations among people who live there </li></ul><ul><li>Newly applied to community-based organizations and their ability to contribute to community empowerment, enriched services and positive change </li></ul>
  7. 7. Ecological Levels of Social Capital <ul><li>Micro- trust among individuals and social connections and participation </li></ul><ul><li>Mezzo- community trust in CBO’s; community participation in programs and projects; community mobilization </li></ul><ul><li>Macro- trust across organizations with common ties (coalitions); linkages with larger society; new resources brought to community; mobilization across communities </li></ul>
  8. 8. Role of Community-Based Organizations <ul><li>Level where issues are identified/framed </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies are developed as a response to issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Space for social interaction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage participation via public debate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diverse leadership Green & Haines (2002) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mechanisms created for shared awareness among community members </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: CBO’S create community programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arts and cultural programs can promote social capital as well as promote transformation of personal health by providing a familiar and interesting milieu for people to explore issues of importance to their lives. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Importance of Social Capital <ul><li>Associated with better overall health </li></ul><ul><li>(Rose, 2000; Wilkinson, 1996, 1997) </li></ul><ul><li>Recognizes the importance of informal social interactions as having potential to engender trust and to communicate and enforce norms. </li></ul><ul><li>(Putnam, 1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Makes group action possible e.g. Facilitates coordinated action among individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>(Coleman, 1990; Putnam, Leonardi & Nanetti, 1993) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Ultimate Goal of Chicago Project To develop a practical method that allows community organizations to characterize themselves as resources for engaging in large scale health promotion; with emphasis on the development and use of social capital.
  11. 11. Project Objectives <ul><li>To understand community definitions of social capital. </li></ul><ul><li>To describe the role of CBO’s as sources of social capital. </li></ul><ul><li>To consider the processes by which CBO’s employ elements of social capital in organized efforts to improve community health. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Methods <ul><li>Participatory model involving advisory board / CBO’s in all phases of the science </li></ul><ul><li>Advisory board nominated organizations (4) for the case studies based on criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple case study approach, using ethnographic methods </li></ul><ul><li>Individual interviews of organization network members </li></ul><ul><li>Incentives provided to both the organization and individuals </li></ul>
  13. 13. Chicago Study Domains <ul><li>Organizational Characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mission, history, structure, outreach and services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Community Characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Community/Resident attributes, culture, history, challenges/assets, and community life. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Organizational Impact </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Skills development, accomplishments, goal achievement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Community Participation </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Involvement, mobilization, trust </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Action for Change </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Defining/framing issues, partnerships, advocacy </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Case Study Criteria <ul><li>CBO with dual mission of direct services to improve health AND community development. </li></ul><ul><li>History of engaging with the community on social and political action to improve quality of life. </li></ul><ul><li>Strong history, identity and ties with either African American or Latino community located in community area with health disparities. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Procedures <ul><li>CBO background information </li></ul><ul><li>Scheduled Semi-Structured Interview </li></ul><ul><li>Data collection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews with CBO affiliates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tapes Transcribed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Data entry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-Text entered into Atlas.ti </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Coded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>-Reliability Coded </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Case Agency: Puerto Rican Cultural Center <ul><li>Chicago CBO located in Humboldt Park (West Side); has served the Puerto Rican Community since 1973 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative High School </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Child Care Center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Family Learning Center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vida SIDA </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. PRCC Mission and Values <ul><li>Community self-determination </li></ul><ul><li>Community self-actualization </li></ul><ul><li>Community self-sufficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Preservation of Culture </li></ul><ul><li>“ Vivir y ayudar a vivir” </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>CODES </li></ul>Community Participation (37) Efforts/Framing Partic. (18) Involvement (14) Organization Characteristic (280) Qualities (156) Services/Programs (52) Outreach (36) Community Characteristic (152) Resident Attributes (47) Issues/Challenges (25) Residents (23) Organization Impact (63) Making a Difference (31) Trust (25) Action for Change (34) Partnerships (14) Defining Issues (13)
  19. 19. Organizational Characteristics <ul><li>Quality </li></ul><ul><li>“… a good CBO, just like a good political program, just like a good scientific undertaking, must ultimately be premised on some social reality that people are articulating and in that process that we learn from that and then from that and then we give back.” </li></ul><ul><li>P 2:39 (828:833) </li></ul><ul><li>“ How do you capture the essence of a CBO... I were to only assume that it’s heart is the community . You know, and how, how to [do] you quantify that?” </li></ul><ul><li>P5:100 (2161:2183) </li></ul>Volunteer Neighborhood cleanup
  20. 20. Community Characteristics <ul><li>Resident Attribute : </li></ul><ul><li>“… I think it’s very family-oriented community, and I mean, I say that because… I’m very family-oriented. My…parents are both Puerto Rican and I just know that everything revolves pretty much around the family, that the family is kind of the center of… life, your parents, and your grandparents.” P4:8 (109:113) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Community Characteristic <ul><li>Culture, Issue/Challenge: </li></ul><ul><li>“ I think that a lot of people are very… quote-unquote… ‘colonized’ because of the United States presence in Puerto Rico for such a long time. So a lot of people tend to, because either they live here or… they were taught this in school, or on the island, look at, really value what’s material . And so there’s these kind of influences, this kind of conflict, because…your very family-oriented, religious, kind of spiritual, and then you have a lot of [these] material things . You’re being bombarded… by having the nicest shoes or the nicest car… </li></ul><ul><li>And I think for a lot of people because the educational system is so poor in this community, they way they fit in, quote-unquote, is… into mainstream society… is to own the things that mainstream society has. </li></ul><ul><li>P4:13 (164:178) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Community Characteristic Three Kings Day Toy Collection
  23. 23. Community Characteristics <ul><li>Resident Attribute: </li></ul><ul><li>“… I think that’s the case for a lot of people where it’s really being a part of the community. Knowing more than just your neighbors but really taking the hand and cleaning it and helping others out some way or another. Being a familiar face.” </li></ul><ul><li>P5:17 (368:373) </li></ul><ul><li>Resident Attribute, Assets: </li></ul><ul><li>“ I guess we just, you know, we know that as Puerto Ricans we’re strong but as Puerto Ricans and Mexicans we’re stronger.” </li></ul><ul><li>P6:46 (1003:1006) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Organization Impact <ul><li>Trust: </li></ul><ul><li>“… the community knows that [VS] has been here for a long time, and they know the faces [of] the workers. They know that although…I work at [VS], that I’m also in the neighborhood , that whether I’m working or I’m not working that I still say hello to them, I still ask them, ‘how are you doing?’ </li></ul><ul><li>… So I think that makes a big difference,…if someone knows that if they walk in at 6:00pm ….and I say I’m leaving and they say ‘can I get some condoms before you leave?’ I’m not going to leave. They know that I’ll open the door up and give them the condoms. And that’s the difference between this agency and any other agency that would be like ‘Oh, sorry it’s 6:00pm we’re closed.’ </li></ul><ul><li>P6:26 (693:713) </li></ul>
  25. 25. Organization Impact Fiesta Boricua 1998
  26. 26. <ul><li>Involvement: </li></ul><ul><li>“… It [VS] is a space that was created by the students of our high school.” </li></ul><ul><li>P2:11 (96:98) </li></ul>Efforts/Framing Partic., Involvement: “…we always have youth involvement, when… we’re writing grants, or we’re creating murals, or… we’re doing posters. …we usually always meet with them and say ‘Does this work for you?’…like when we’re developing outreach forms.” P6:76 (1582:1588) Community Participation 2002 Peoples Parade
  27. 27. Community mural
  28. 28. Community Participation <ul><li>Involvement, Mobilization: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Well… the community working together to build things for itself…to build in-kind, to build better housing, …for example… we have right next to [VS] health clinic we have this independent living space for people who are HIV-positive…and that was… brought out by community people speaking out about …[needing] housing in the area for people who were HIV-positive… </li></ul><ul><li>P6:40 (844:866) </li></ul>
  29. 29. Action for Change <ul><li>Defining/Framing Issues: </li></ul><ul><li>“… like what’s going on with Vieques … we started the human chain… you seen all these people walking from [street to street]. So I guess that’s an example of …community.” </li></ul><ul><li>P6:93 (1924:1941) </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships: </li></ul><ul><li>“ But I think outside of just the HIV/AIDS realm taking further and making linkages with other communities.” </li></ul><ul><li>P5:84 (1860:1862) </li></ul>Community Press Conference on Vieques
  30. 30. Action for Change <ul><li>Defining Issues, Partnership, Advocacy: </li></ul><ul><li>“… And for instance in the Parade…we’re going to have the gay flag and … we’ve always invited other Latino gay organizations to be a part of it. …we’ve had obviously lots of people who have been a part of the Center who are gay or lesbian and being an intrinsic part of it. … being visible and equal in the whole democratic process but trying also to make the community see that …it’s also people in those other organizations are also willing to be seen in the community.” </li></ul><ul><li>P5:89 (1961:1976) </li></ul>
  31. 31. A community perspective of Social Capital as related to CBOs <ul><li>“ We know what it (SC) is…people wonder how we get so much done with no money.” </li></ul><ul><li>SC can arise out of an ethos and principles for living that people can identify with. </li></ul><ul><li>Community understands who to trust based on consistency (being there). </li></ul><ul><li>Participation is fostered by mutual understanding, common ties and celebration of cultural life. </li></ul><ul><li>You cannot talk about SC without considering culture </li></ul>
  32. 32. Limitations <ul><li>1 case study </li></ul><ul><li>Researcher-Community relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Perspective of consumers and residents </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-sectional look at org processes </li></ul><ul><li>Categories constructed with ties to outside influence. National project limited flexibility in constructing local study domains. </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-Structured interviews supplemented by community observation and discussions. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Implications for community based health promotion <ul><li>What seem to be indicators of social capital in a particular community setting? Can the community identify these indicators? </li></ul><ul><li>Consider how social capital concepts could be useful in program design and evaluation. </li></ul><ul><li>How might trust and community participation make a difference in program outcomes? </li></ul><ul><li>In broader community change for health? </li></ul>
  34. 34. Conclusion <ul><li>The locally relevant meaning of social capital was explored through qualitative inquiry. </li></ul><ul><li>In the PRCC/ Vida Sida programs, organizational qualities and community characteristics were especially important to understand how social capital can be used to address critical health issues in the community, while contributing to community betterment and development. </li></ul><ul><li>An understanding of local SC concepts of trust, social connections, relationships & the role of CBOs in community life can contribute to effective translation of research to practice. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Press conference announcing Paseo Boricua Walk of Fame Café Batey Urbano, PRCC youth project
  36. 36. For more information: ON THE STUDY METHODS: Michele Kelley [email_address] ON THE PRCC: Alejandro Luis Molina Board of Directors Puerto Rican Cultural Center [email_address]

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