Miami Thrives: Weaving a Poverty Reduction Coalition
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In an environment where community based organizations are asked to do increasingly more to alleviate the effects of complex social problems, networks and coalitions are becoming the answer for increasing scale, efficiency, coordination, and most importantly, social impact. This paper highlights the formation of a poverty reduction coalition in south Florida. Our case study approach chronicles a developing coalition in Miami-Dade County and the role of one organization acting as lead to the initiative. Drawing on interviews with lead organization staff, participant observation field notes, network mapping and analysis of documents and artifacts from the initiative, we analyze the local organizational context and illuminate important processes associated with supporting a developing coalition. Findings offer a picture of the interorganizational relationships in the community using social network analysis and identify the organizational capacity factors that contribute to and inhibit the formation of a cohesive and effective coalition in this context. This study also highlights the utility of an action research approach to organizational learning about coalition-building in such a way that informs decision making.
KeywordsNetworks Coalitions Collective impact Organizational capacity Organizational empowerment Poverty
This study was funded in part by the Kresge Foundation.
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