Partnership as a means for reaching special populations: Evaluating the NCI's CIS Partnership Program
BACKGROUND: The National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Cancer Information Service (CIS) Partnership Program involves collaboration with over 900 organizations and coalitions serving minority and medically underserved populations. Cancer Information Service collaborations are categorized into three types: networking, educational program, and program development partnerships. METHODS: A survey of CIS partnership organizations (n = 288). RESULTS: Most respondents reported that partnerships with CIS are collaborative and make good use of their organization's skills and resources, and most perceive that the benefits of partnership outweigh any drawbacks. More than one-quarter say partnerships have not done a good job evaluating collaborative activities. Results vary among three types of partnerships. CONCLUSIONS: Evaluation of the CIS Partnership Program presents an opportunity to examine how a large-scale and multi-faceted partnership effort has been implemented, how it is evaluated, and initial indicators of program success. Organizations, health professionals, and community leaders interested in effective partnerships can use these findings to strengthen collaborations and maximize outcomes.