Partnership Trust Tool

Posted by on March 2, 2009


CCPH Organizational Member, the PRC National Community Committee, Plays Integral Role in Tool Development

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Research Center (PRC) Partnership Trust Tool (PTT) is designed to engage PRC’s academic, community, and public health practice partners in a dialogue about issues that foster and hinder trust. It allows partners to explore strengths, identify opportunities for improvement, and develop strategies for enhancing trust.  Although the PTT helps partners describe trust in their relationships, it is not an assessment tool or scale for measuring trust.

The PTT has two parts:

1) Survey: Participants complete an anonymous survey and rate their experiences and expectations of their partners behaviors related to various components of trust.

2) Facilitated Discussion: Partners meet for 4-6 hours and a facilitator leads them through a guided discussion based on survey results.

Why was the PTT developed? PRC partners identified trust as an important and feasible concept to address about their partnerships. Subsequently, trust was included in the PRC Program Logic Model as a motivating condition in the PRC research process. Although the success of a PRC may depend on its ability to develop and maintain partnerships built on trust, addressing such a sensitive issue with partners is challenging. The PTT helps PRC’s spark dialogue and helps align partners perceptions about trust, which may help partners function together effectively to reach their ultimate goals of improving health and eliminating health inequalities.

How was the PTT developed? An external research team developed the tool by using information from focus groups and guidance from PRCs community, academic, public health partners, and PRC Program office staff. The PRC National Community Committee, an organizational member of CCPH, was instrumental in the tool’s development.  The PTT was pilot-tested with several PRCs to assess the tools components (survey and facilitated discussion), the efficiency of the process and activities, the effectiveness of the facilitator, and the instruction materials developed to help PRCs use the tool on their own.

Using the PTT is a partnership-building activity. Some key benefits include: 1) Involves all partners: community, academic, health department, or others; 2) Helps in planning evaluation activities that relate to partner relationships; 3) Helps partners identify sensitive issues related to trust and develop a plan for resolving concerns; 4) Helps PRCs document progress in developing partnerships based on trust.

For more information, please visit: or email the PRC Program Office at

For additional resources for building trust in community-campus partnerships, visit “Developing and Sustaining Community-Based Participatory Research Partnerships: A Skill-Building Curriculum” at

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