How Does Neighborhood Organizational Life Differ? New Findings from the Chicago Community Networks Survey
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Social network analysis (SNA) is a particularly important tool to understand the structure of community organizational life and its relationship to implementation outcomes. This paper presents new analyses of the first wave of the Chicago Community Networks (CCN) survey, which interviewed over 300 organizations in nine neighborhoods of varied demographic and organizational composition across the city. Survey data include not only the presence but also the intensity of connections among local and citywide organizations, the domain in which organizations interacted, and various assessments of organizational capacity and implementation strength. Funded by the MacArthur Foundation as a way of assessing the New Communities Program (NCP), one of the largest single-city community development initiatives, the CCN allows for a much deeper investigation of the nature and extent of ties and relations than is often possible through SNA, especially when paired with recent (2015-16) qualitative research with seventy-five Wave 1 survey respondents.
The paper will describe 1) whether neighborhood demographics, network function, and/or network goals are most associated with network density, centralization, and organizational diversity, and 2) how network centralization and network diversity contributes to the implementation of local community development initiatives. Findings are meant to further an understanding of the conditions that are associated with strong and enduring community partnerships around housing, safety, and education, and to provide a deeper empirical basis to literatures of practice related to “collective impact,” “place-conscious” strategies, and “silo-busting” comprehensive community initiatives.