Multisectoral action coalitions for road safety in Brazil: An organizational social network analysis in São Paulo and Fortaleza

Adam D. Koon, Angelica Lopez-Hernandez, Connie Hoe, Andres I. Vecino-Ortiz, Flávio J.C. Cunto, Manoel M. de Castro-Neto, Abdulgafoor M. Bachani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This research was conducted to explore the nature of multisectoral action for road safety in Brazil. In an effort to improve the implementation of complex interventions, we sought to characterize the relationships and exchange patterns within a network tied to the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) in Fortaleza and São Paulo, Brazil. Methods: We conducted an organizational social network analysis based on in-person surveys and key informant interviews with 57 individuals across the two cities from August to October 2019. Survey data included network dimensions such as the frequency of interaction, perceived value of interaction, resource sharing, coordination, data/research sharing, practical guidance, and access to decision makers. We coded and analyzed interview transcripts according to network properties of structure, governance, development, and outcomes, as well as in situ codes that emerged from the data. Results: We found differences in all network properties between road safety networks in Fortaleza and São Paulo. Fortaleza was characterized by a centralized, dense, and relatively new network, whereas São Paulo was larger, diffuse, diverse, and established. Government agencies were central in both networks, but an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) was highly central in Fortaleza and a local NGO was highly central in São Paulo. Few actors on the periphery of both networks were connected to one another or decision makers, which revealed sectors to engage for enhancing network connectivity. Finally, politics were understood to be key in facilitating network activity, data (especially their integration and transparency) were considered to be influential for decision making, and strategic planning was acknowledged as a central concern for network expansion and fluidity. Conclusions: Multisectoral action for road safety can be reinforced by carefully disentangling the social dynamics of implementation. Organizational social network analysis, supplemented with interview data, can provide a deeper explanation for how members behave and understand their work. In this way, research can help build a collective identity and impetus to action on road safety, contributing to a healthier and more equitable world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022


  • Brazil
  • Road safety
  • social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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