Building and Sustaining Community Partnerships for Teen Pregnancy Prevention: A Working Paper. 1. Characteristics of the Environment

06/01/1998

Several characteristics of the environment in which the partnership takes shape help bring together partners. Some number of these factors are necessary for the formation of a partnership, but they might not be sufficient.(30) The most frequently noted factors include:

  • the history of collaboration within the community,(31)
  • the recognition of mutual need or purpose and shared responsibility for the problem as well as the solution,(32)
  • scarcity of resources, economic insecurity among members, and competition for clients,(33)
  • external mandates,(34) for example, the opportunity to compete for public or private funding and/or the need to comply with applicable statutes, regulations, or funding guidelines, although these were not sufficient where other conditions were absent,(35)
  • problem complexity and the need to reduce costs and increase profits in for-profit partnerships, (36)
  • the failure of existing efforts to address the problem-in other words, the need for innovation,(37)
  • viewing the prospect of collaboration as compelling(38) and attaching positive attitudes, expectations and value to collaboration,(39)
  • the level of power and security of members(40) and the legitimacy of the group to address the issue.(41)

The issue of teen pregnancy in many communities presents a powerful convergence of several of these environmental factors. This may explain why efforts to address the issue have tended to increasingly rely on mobilizing partnerships at the community or state level.