APH 2006, 64, 1-12:

Partnership synergy among European organisations for smoking prevention.

M. Schoonacker, Van den Broucke

Keywords: partnership synergy, tobacco control, network

Objective: This paper examines the level of partnership synergy, defined as the extent to which the perspectives, resources and skills of the individuals and organisations that participate in a network contribute to and strengthen its work, of the European Network for Smoking Prevention (ENSP).

Design: Eighteen members (30.5%) of the General Assembly of the ENSP completed the Questionnaire for Organisational Partners, which measures partnership synergy and its main determinants: effectiveness of leadership, effectiveness of administration and management, partnership efficiency, adequacy of financial resources, adequacy of nonfinancial resources, challenges to partner involvement, challenges related to the community, and challenges to governing the partnership. Scores were compared to the results of a previous evaluation of ENSP, and to those of 63 partnerships involved in a study in the USA.

Results: No significant differences were found between both assessments of partnership synergy and assessments of its determinants. Compared to the partnerships in the USA, ENSP attained a similar level of partnership synergy and scored similar for most determinants, but scored lower for partnership efficiency.

Conclusions: The level of partnership synergy of ENSP is comparable to that of health related networks in the USA, but it makes less well use of the partners’ in kind resources and time. It was suggested that this should be attributed to the diversity of the organisations involved in the network, and to the leadership style.