Transforming Coalition Leadership: An Evaluation of a Collaborative Leadership Training Program
Effective coalitions need leaders who are able to reach beyond individual, group, and sectoral boundaries to advance a shared vision for healthy and thriving communities. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation partnered with the Center for Creative Leadership to create a one-year pilot, the Community Coalition Leadership Program, to test a new approach to providing training in collaborative leadership.
This article discusses the program, whether and how it improved participants’ individual and coalition leadership skills, and the implications for foundations and other entities seeking to increase interdependent leadership capacity within community coalitions. This article does not, however, intend to describe progress toward coalition goals or changes in community outcomes, given the short time frame of the evaluation.
A post-program survey found that most coalitions improved on some measures along four dimensions: membership, structure, functioning, and collaboration. Even coalitions that struggled showed improvement along some dimensions, which suggests that the program was a valuable part of a longer-range strategy to build leadership capacity in under-resourced communities.