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Collaboration For The Nutrition Field: Synthesis Of Selected Literature

B. Rosenthal
Published 1998 · Medicine

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Abstract Collaboration is a fluid process through which a group of diverse, autonomous actors (organizations or individuals) undertakes a joint initiative, addresses shared concerns, or otherwise achieves common goals. Innumerable collaborations have emerged in the past decade, spurred by the need for innovative solutions to complex issues, government and funding mandates, or the quest for market advantage. Nutrition professionals are increasingly involved in collaborations at the policy and community levels, contributing their expertise to initiatives on health promotion, diet, public education, and community empowerment. This article summarizes relevant literature on collaborations. It provides a survey of promising practices, a conceptual framework for viewing collaborations, approaches to evaluation, and recommendations for collaboration practice and research. Illustrations of nutrition and health promotion collaborations are presented and categorized by collaboration type: strategic partnerships; comprehensive, multi-sectoral; service integration; and problem solving. A synthesis of relevant theory provides information on collaboration members, leaders, participation, dynamics, developmental stages and success, and an introduction to new approaches to the evaluation of collaborations. Recommendations are made for future practice and research, based upon lessons learned and gaps in existing collaboration knowledge.
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