Brokering Community–campus Partnerships: An Analytical Framework

Main Article Content

Charles Z Levkoe
Holly Stack-Cutler


Academic institutions and community-based organizations have increasingly recognized the value of working together to meet their different objectives and address common societal needs. In an effort to support the development and maintenance of these partnerships, a diversity of brokering initiatives has emerged. We describe these brokering initiatives broadly as coordinating mechanisms that act as an intermediary with an aim to develop collaborative and sustainable partnerships that provide mutual benefit. A broker can be an individual or an organization that helps connect and support relationships and share knowledge. To date, there has been little scholarly discussion or analysis of the various elements of these initiatives that contribute to successful community–campus partnerships. In an effort to better understand where these features may align and diverge, we reviewed a sample of community–campus brokering initiatives across North America and the United Kingdom to consider their different roles and activities. From this review, we developed a framework to delineate characteristics of different brokering initiatives to better understand their contributions to successful partnerships. The framework is divided into two parts. The first examines the different structural allegiances of the brokering initiatives by identifying their affiliation, principle purpose, and who received primary benefits. The second considers the dimensions of brokering activities in respect to their level of engagement, platforms used, scale of activity, and area of focus. The intention of the community campus engagement brokering framework is to provide an analytical tool for academics and community-based practitioners engaged in teaching and research partnerships. When developing a brokering initiative, these categories describing the different structures and dimensions encourage participants to think through the overall goals and objectives of the partnership and adapt the initiative accordingly.

Article Details

Research articles (Refereed)
Author Biographies

Charles Z Levkoe, Lakehead University

Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems; Assistant Professor, Health Sciences

Holly Stack-Cutler, University of Alberta

Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Extension