Community interventions: Cooperation in formal structures in Community Coalitions

The purpose of this study was to identify important factors for successful co-operation within a community coalition for loneliness in Osdorp by assessing how these factors affect co-operation. As the incidence of loneliness is increasing in the Netherlands, it is important to study how to address this social problem, and how optimal co-operation within a community coalition can be achieved. In literature the community coalition is described as an effective way of achieving positive social and health effects on a community level. Therefore a conceptual framework was derived from the community coalition action theory by Butterfoss and factors were operationalised in an interview guide.

Ten participants of the wijkzorg tafel in Osdorp were interviewed after which the interviews were coded with a coding sheet and open coding. Participants indicated the psychiatric care organisations and organisations capable of detecting loneliness, such as housing associations or religious institutes,were missing. Additionally, the consistency of the members in the coalition was low, which had a negative influence on motivation. The main structure in the coalition was the personal informal contacts the participants had while communication within the coalition was perceived as sub-optimal. Finally, there was no common strategic vision within the coalition, while participants reacted positive towards such a vision.

This study shows how the different factors influence the wijkzorg tafel community coalition in Osdorp in their co-operation against loneliness. Members who are able todetect loneliness in the neighbourhood are needed as this is an important part of battling loneliness. The consistency of the attendance of the members of the wijkzorg tafel should be improved, as itdemoralised participants. This study gives new insights in how important factors for community coalitions to function affect he co-operation within these coalitions. Additionally, it gives insight into optimal factors for battling loneliness. By taking these results into consideration when improving existing coalitions or setting up a new community coalition, the effectiveness can be improved.

Auteur: Jurgen Venhoeven

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