Research & Evaluation
Iowa Center for Evaluation & Research
DMC Resource Center

Social network analysis

The NRCFCP has worked with a variety of projects since 2000 in providing social network analysis of agency interaction and how those interactions, relationships and levels of collaboration  have changed over time.  

Network analysis is a method that is fundamentally qualitative in nature but also allows more sophisticated quantitative analyses.  Social network analysis is the most appropriate scientific approach to analyzing community networks and inter-organizational collaboration.   Network analysis can identify the relative importance and interaction patterns of members as determined by those participating in the network.

In addition to reporting the measures of a network, computerized graphic depictions of connections based on these measures also can be provided for lay audience appeal. For example, the illustration below presents the connections based on who reports working with whom in one small community in serving low-income residents. One can easily see that the node at the top of the illustration is isolated from the network since it has only one connection. In this study we identified strategies that resulted in increased connections among agencies working together to enhance the communities' efforts and sustain more effective approaches.

Click here to read about Measuring Strengths in Community Collaborations, an article that appeared in the Prevention Report, 2004, #1.

Below are examples of evaluation reports that include social network analysis:

Road to Community: Evaluation of Outcomes from the Road to Community and Money Follows the Person Partnership for Community Integration (2010 report)

The Road to Community is a project designed to create and implement a model to support outplacement and community integration of individuals with developmental disabilities. Implemented by Mosaic in Omaha, Nebraska in collaboration with the Iowa Money Follows the Person Partnership for Community Integration through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, the project is part of a comprehensive, coordinated strategy to make widespread changes to community long-term care support systems. Assistance with the evaluation was provided by the University of Iowa School of Social Work’s National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice (NRC) in collaboration with M. J. Davis Consulting. Social network analysis was conducted as part of the larger evaluation to examine outcomes changes in community networks supporting outplacement and community integration of individuals.


Social Network Analysis of Collaboration among Service Network Providers for the Iowa Strengthening Communities - Youth (SCY) Project
Funded through SAMHSA, this project assessed the Iowa SCY system of care network of agencies and the effect that the startup of the SCY project had on the relationships within the network of service providers. (2002 Report).

Evaluation of South Santa Clara County (CA) Wraparound Project for Latino Children and Youth [Click here]
Funded by the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this project engaged the community in a consensus building and planning process to evaluate the feasibility of implementing the Wraparound service model for Latino children and adolescents with co-occurring mental disorders and substance abuse disorders.  See beginning on page 15 for results of the social network analysis.

Contact Brad Richardson, Ph.D. for further information on social network analysis.

new footer

Copyright 2009, The University of Iowa. All Rights Reserved.
Contact NRCFCP

The University of Iowa