Using Social Network Analysis to Predict Early Collaboration Within Health Advocacy Coalitions


The Issue:

Social network analysis (SNA) is a tool used to measure the structure, scope, and interaction of individuals or organizations in a network, often to evaluate the strength of relationships.

Key Findings:

  • Coalitions that engaged in advocacy efforts with others early in their formation were significantly associated with higher levels of collaboration.
  • Communication activities had the strongest association with increased collaboration between organizations.
  • Coalitions with more resources (e.g., number of policy-maker contacts, grants received), had statistically stronger social networks.


These findings show that early collaboration between advocacy organizations—even those that have not worked together in the past—can strengthen advocacy efforts. SNA is a useful tool for evaluating advocacy efforts.

About the Study:

This analysis uses SNA to evaluate the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Consumer Voices for Coverage (CVC) initiative, which funds consumer health advocacy coalitions in 12 states. CVC promotes policies to increase coverage at the state and federal levels and works to give consumers a voice in implementing health reform.