Maximizing Project Impact: The use of social network analysis to select project partners
Maximizing project impact:the use of social network analysis to select project partnersRuvicyn S. Bayot, Sophie Alvarez, Michael Victor, and Boru DouthwaiteInternational Rice Research Institute, DAPO Box 7777, Metro Manila, PhilippinesCentro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical, A.A. 6713, Cali, ColombiaChallenge Program on Water and Food, P.O. Box 2075, Colombo, Sri LankaThe WorldFish Center, P.O. Box 500, GPO 10670, Penang, MalaysiaThe CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) Phase II is a multi-institutionaland multidisciplinary research-for-development program that brings together partners fromboth fields of research and development. The aim is to increase the resilience of social andecological ecosystems through better water management for food production. Thispartnership is designed to: address specific basin development challenges by supporting research collaboration among partners; ensure research results are used by different groups by creating multistakeholder The Ganges Basin Development Program Team: how this team was formed platforms that ensure adequate representation of stakeholders; and The CPWF used social network analysis to strategically select partners build the capacity of local partners and young professionals. within a basin development program. The examples shown are the maps used for selecting the project partners and lead institutions for the GangesThis collaborative partnership is based on the premise that it will ensure ownership and use Basin Development Program.of the generated outputs since stakeholders are involved from the very beginning of theproject.Network mapping Box 1The program used network mapping as a diagnostic tool to help identify key institutional partners. The two key elements CGIAR: Consultative Group of Internationalof CPWF’s network map are the partners (shown as network nodes) and the relationships between them (shown as Agricultural Researchnetwork ties). The partner’s position in a network determines its influence and its access to information and resources NARES: National Agricultural Research and(Clark, 2006). The more central and the greater involvement partners have in research, the more direct is their access to Extension Systeminformation and resources. RO: Research organization (e.g., universities)Partners are classified and grouped according to type of institution (Box 1) and location. These attributes are set in themap using different node colors and shapes. GO: Government organization NGO: Nongovernment OrganizationSelecting the partners and lead institutions Data collection 1 2 3 Database of CPWF Survey of related initiatives partners in Phase 1 (1) Network map of CPWF Network map of related Phase 1 partners (2) initiatives (3) Count the degrees of involvement List of institutions from Network map of partners from CPWF Phase 1 Network map of institutions from related initiatives Count the number of times the the survey of related institution led an initiative initiatives The network map was created using NetDraw, an open source software tool used to visualize social networks Rank institutions 4 http://www.analytictech.com/netdraw.htm Criteria Identify lead partners based on criteria set (4) 1. Track record of project leadership 2. Track record of achievement in initiatives similar to the Ganges 5 Partnering expectations •At least one in-basin organization Basin Development Program •At least one out-of-basin organization 3. Ability to work in partnerships •At least one organization to scale out and scale up research outputs Select other partners (5) 4. Ability to coordinate projects in more than one riparian country 5. Appropriate governance and financial management mechanisms 6. Relevant research expertiseLessons learned References Ensure that stakeholders are consulted in identifying related initiatives. Clark, L. 2006. Network mapping as a diagnostic tool. Centro Internacional de Develop a comprehensive database of organizations prior to the development of Agricultura Tropical, Cali, Colombia. CPWF. 2009. 2008 Annual Report.: A year of transformation and innovation. the network map to capture the ‘richness’ of the network. Colombo, Sri Lanka. Ensure that the project team has partners from within the basin, which are CPWF. 2009. Medium-term Plan 2009-2012. Colombo, Sri Lanka. influential and know the local situation. Douthwaite, B. 2010. Selecting lead organizations for the Ganges BDC Projects. CPWF Management Document. Unpublished. The team should involve enabling institutions that will be responsible for the scaling out and scaling up of research results.