Methods: The present study is a cross-sectional survey study of coalition sustainability in Texas based human trafficking coalitions. It utilized a convenient sample by emailing the points of contact for the 17 human trafficking coalitions in Texas to evaluate coalition effectiveness. The Coalition Effectiveness Inventory was used for measuring major variables. This diagnostic tool addressed key sustainability factors identified in the literature, including leadership characteristics, member engagement, communication, decision making, collaboration, community resources, formalized coalition structures and processes, and evidence-based interventions and evaluations.
Results: The sample of respondents (N=37) were predominantly female (78%), non-Hispanic-White (77%), and members for less than 2 years (67%). The five coalitions represented have predominantly been established for 1-2 years (37.8%). Furthermore, these coalitions predominantly had a membership size of less than 100 (29.7%) or 100 to 200 (27.0%). Descriptive statistics for each of the five coalition sustainability factors were utilized to examine factor effectiveness. Insignificant effects of all factors on coalition sustainability in a multiple linear regression can be attributed to the small sample size. Utilizing single linear regressions, four factors were statistically significant, including “Coalition Processes” (beta=.383, p=.023), “Lead Agency” (beta=.364, p=.029), “Staff and Leadership” (beta=.335, p=.042), and “Coalition Structures” (beta=.331, p=.045).
Conclusions and Implications: While significant limitations are present within this study, particularly the small sample size, implications for Texas based human trafficking coalitions are provided in the study. It is recommended that a coalition’s lead agency, leadership, and staff provide members with clearly defined roles. Moreover, written formalized structures, such as mission statements, goals and objectives, and organizational charts, are recommended to guide the work of the coalition. By improving and implementing these factors into the coalition structures and processes, coalitions will progress through the stages of development and increase overall sustainability.