Cross-Sector Collaboration in the High-Poverty Setting: Qualitative Results from a Community-Based Diabetes Intervention

Health Serv Res. 2018 Oct;53(5):3416-3436. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12824. Epub 2018 Jan 22.


Objective: To characterize the motivations of stakeholders from diverse sectors who engaged in cross-sector collaboration with an academic medical center.

Data source: Primary qualitative data (2014-2015) were collected from 22 organizations involved in a cross-sector diabetes intervention on the South Side of Chicago.

Study design: In-depth, semistructured interviews; participants included leaders from all stakeholder organization types (e.g., businesses, community development, faith-based) involved in the intervention.

Data collection methods: Data were transcribed verbatim from audio and video recordings. Analysis was conducted using the constant comparison method, derived from grounded theory.

Principal findings: All stakeholders described collaboration as an opportunity to promote community health in vulnerable populations. Among diverse motivations across organization types, stakeholders described collaboration as an opportunity for: financial support, brand enhancement, access to specialized skills or knowledge, professional networking, and health care system involvement in community-based efforts. Based on our findings, we propose a framework for implementing a working knowledge of stakeholder motivations to facilitate effective cross-sector collaboration.

Conclusions: We identified several factors that motivated collaboration across diverse sectors with health care systems to promote health in a high-poverty, urban setting. Understanding these motivations will be foundational to optimizing meaningful cross-sector collaboration and improving diabetes outcomes in the nation's most vulnerable communities.

Keywords: Cross-sector collaboration; community health promotion; diabetes; intersectoral health; population health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers*
  • Chicago
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Grounded Theory
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Stakeholder Participation*