Using the Give-Get Grid to Understand Potential Expectations of Engagement in a Community-Academic Partnership

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Research suggests that stakeholder investment is maximized when partnerships understand the assumptions held by partners of the benefits to be derived and contributions to be made to the partnership. In 2011, representatives from seven rural county high schools and five university departments participated in a planning workshop designed to identify elements of an effective community-academic partnership to address adolescent obesity disparity in Southern Appalachia. The purpose of this investigation was to examine key elements of partnership building by way of the Give-Get Grid partnership tool. Content analysis was conducted to identify emerging themes. University representatives consistently identified more proposed program contributions as well as benefits than their high school partners. University personnel responses generally pertained to their level of participation and investment in the partnership, whereas high school personnel tended to identify contributions fundamental to both partnership and program success. Additionally, content analysis uncovered programmatic facilitators and potential barriers that can be instrumental in program planning and forming program messages. Findings suggest that although partners often share common goals, perceptions of the value of investment and benefits may vary. The Give-Get Grid can be used during the program-planning phase to help identify these differences. Implications for practice are discussed.