Understanding the process of partnerships between secular and faith-based organisations: a conceptual framework
Dibb, Sally; Carrigan, Marylyn; Ali, Haider (2011)

by Haider Ali, Marylyn Carrigan and Sally Dibb, Open University Business School

The potential for health and wellbeing interventions to reduce health disparities in disadvantaged communities is well known, with faith organizations becoming essential partners with charities and government agencies in reaching such populations. Yet the role and experiences of the faith partner in faith-based health and wellbeing interventions remains poorly understood. It is also unclear whether faith organizations are active partners or passive recipients of campaigns and interventions. Yet the value of finding answers to these issues is clear, given the recognition such organisations have in terms of providing access to hard-to-reach-groups, together with the potential value of the efforts of volunteers who work for them.

This paper develops a conceptual framework based on Community Based Participation Research principles that allows the process of partnerships between secular and faith organizations to be considered from the community partner’s perspective. A case study examining the delivery of mental health services through such a partnership is presented, using the constructs as a lens through which the development of partnerships can be viewed. This in-depth examination increases understanding about how such relationships develop and has implications for how they are managed, the paper concludes with some recommendations for organisations seeking to enter community-based partnerships.

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