Indicators That Measure Social Interaction


Global health practitioners are increasingly using KM tools and techniques—such as communities of practice (COPs), share fairs, peer assists, and social media platforms—that bring people together,to foster knowledge sharing and collaboration. Improved understanding, use, and measurement of social capital, social networks, and social learning, can improve communication and coordination in reaching global public health goals. “Social capital” describes specific resources and norms derived from the networks of individuals or social units that can facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit (Glanz et al., 2008). Social learning and social cognitive theory address a process where personal factors, environmental factors, and behavior influence each other. The key constructs of social learning and social cognitive theory include: outcome expectations, self-efficacy, behavioral capability and skill, observational learning and modeling, reciprocal determinism, and reinforcements. The key constructs of social capital are cognitive (shared vision and language), relational (identification, norms, reciprocity, and trust), and structural (social networks). Combined social learning and social capital can increase knowledge quality and quantity and improve cooperation and communication (Limaye et al., 2017).


Indicators that measure social interaction are grouped into four subcategories: 1) cognitive, 2) relational, 3) social networks, and 4) social learning. Altogether, 12 indicators are mapped to these subcategories (indicators 66 to 77).        

Subcategory (Area)Description
CultureRelates to the shared vision and language that bring a group together.
RelationalRelates to level of trust between people in a group, group norms, reciprocity, and identification with a group/sense of belonging.
Social networksIncludes social and network connections that reflect who can be reached and how. This focuses on two key characteristics of social networks for KM and diffusion: connectivity and fragmentation.
Social learningAddresses a process where personal factors, environmental factors, and behavior influence each other. Key constructs included are: outcome expectations and self-efficacy.