Background: Developing effective Community-Academic Partnerships (CAPs) is challenging, and the steps to build and sustain them have not been well documented. This paper describes efforts to form and sustain the Healthy Community Neighborhood Initiative (HCNI), a CAP to improve health in a low-income community in South Los Angeles.
Methods: Moderated, semi-structured discussions with HCNI community and academic partners were used to develop a framework for CAP formation.
Results: We identified two key features, shared values and respect, as critical to the decision to form the HCNI. Five elements were identified as necessary for building and sustaining the HCNI: trust, transparency, equity and fairness, adequate resources and developing protocols to provide structure. We also identified several challenges and barriers and the strategies used in the HCNI to mitigate these challenges.
Conclusion: We developed a framework to incorporate and reinforce the key elements identified as crucial in building and sustaining a CAP in a low-income community.
Keywords: Building partnerships; Community-academic partnership; Community-based participatory research; Memorandum of understanding; Sustaining partnerships.