The academic community was the first to see the power of social network analysis in looking at large populations of people. They look at social systems. The mathematical analyses in social network analysis have been developed as part of the academic toolkit as they look for people who are key influencers and try to understand how work goes across populations. This diagram is from recent work at Harvard University that looks at the influence of networks on personal habits and happiness.
Since the middle of the 1990s, ONA has become a very useful tool for finding gaps across groups, finding the key connectors in organizations
People engaged in nonprofits focused on social programs in the U.S. have studied and adopted network thinking into many of their strategies. They use network analysis to look at how successful networks can be built, to understand how to manage different types of networks effectively, and also how leaders can be more effective with a network slant.
This list is taken from Rick Davies, the international expert in monitoring and evaluation. He has done numerous projects in the development sector; this is a good list of the ways that network analysis can be used.Note that although so far we’ve talked only about analysing networks of people, that it is also possible to draw maps in which nodes represent programs or entities other than people. Such maps can show how people and ideas are linked. There are numerous possibilities.
At the outset, we were dealing with a classic, centrally organized set of programs for each country, led by the country programme managers in Rome and country teams. It looked something like this. Not that there were no exchanges across countries, but that they were most likely happening at the IFAD level, not across people working on projects in countries.
Pre-2007, ENRAP was tracking network evolution through M&E surveys where we would ask people about their networking and also we would track website hits, registration and people discussing on email; number of emails. However this did not give a substantial picture of connections and network growth although the project team could get some send of growth there was no visual representation that could be shared with others; In 2007, we decided to use SNA to track network evolution; SNA was not so commonly used with the development sector.We were able to see how weaker connections and networks we had gathered information on before 2007; were actually stronger. While earlier there were more project to project connections; now we also see regional connections forming. The network mapping exercises gave us a picture of not only regional networking but also country networks and thematic networks.
Through the ENRAP and IFAD programme efforts, we have seen more and more cross-country connections emerge. This doesn’t show all the connections but does give the essence of some of the ties that have developed.While we understood that this was happening, we also acknowledged the need to dig a little deeper to get an X-RAY into these connections, see who the key people are that are making these connections, and see how these connections would be sustained over time. For this reason, we decided to use the method, social network analysis and invited our consultant, Patti Anklam, to design an analysis for us.We’ll talk about that in detail in a minute, but first we need to explain a little bit about network analysis so you can understand the maps and charts that are displayed around the meeting center.
As we in IDRC had been hearing a lot about the uses of network analysis, we decided to use it as part of our own evaluation efforts.For one, we wanted to be able to demonstrate the extent of the network – what does it look like now? And then to see what changes occur over the next 18 months or so.
For the second survey, we wanted to see what changes might have occurred in the connectedness For one, we wanted to be able to demonstrate the extent of the network – what does it look like now? And then to see what changes would occur over the next 18 months or so.
The set of people we sent the survey included all of the IFAD group, and a cross-section of project staff from the countries. We also included a small number of people who are not officially working on any IFAD projects at present, but who continue to collaborate with the IFAD programmes.As you can see, the percentage of response was improved over 2008. Given that we have a larger number of people in the 2010 survey, it is not possible to make direct comparisons using mathematical calculations, so we look primary for patterns and changes in the structure of the network.
This is the overall map from the regional survey this year. Don’t worry, you will have lots of time later to look at this in detail. These are shown in the large maps we have displayed for you to look at. We will also let you know, if you want, what your “number” is so that you can find yourself on the map.It was actually very little different from the 2008 survey, and we can explain why. At the same time, let’s look at some of what we see in this map.
The core periphery structure is very much like the generic one you saw earlier. We have a very strong core, which is primarily represented by the CPMs and the IFAD and IDRC staff. IFAD people are shown as yellow circles; IDRC are green.This core is very well connected, and it is the responsibility of these people to provide you with the linkages to people and resources that you need.You will notice that a lot of the people represented as upside-down triangles are on the outside. These are people who did not fill out the survey. So for them, there is only one-way data. If we had their data, the map would be a bit different and some of these people might move in closer to the center.
Here, we remove the IFAD HQ people, whose job it is to move information around, and we find that we still have a core/periphery network, and there is no one who is disconnected completely from the network.
As mentioned, because there were 103 people in the 2010 survey and only 72 people in 2008 we cannot use one of the standard ONA measures to compare them. Density is one of these numbers. It shows the overall connectedness of the network, that is, if everyone in a network is connected to everyone else, the density is 100%. So we did take a look at only those people who participated in surveys in both 2008 and 2010l. When we compare the networks of those people who were listed and surveyed, we find that the network shows a 1% improvement. Some people have increased the sizes of their personal networks, some appear to have less frequent interactions with others, but on the whole, the network is essentially the same.We have interpreted this result as demonstrating that the overall structure that has been put in place, particularly the assignment of country presence officers, created the conditions for a strong core/periphery network. What we did fineThe data in the ONA lets us drill a little deeper into individual country dynamics.
This slide shows the maps of project staff only for countries with 4 or more people who tookthe survey. These are much denser networks, which we would expect in groups of people who are working in the same country and language. So, we see no significant problems with communication in the sample of the people we surveyed for 2010.
The Bangladesh survey was very helpful in allowing us to illustrate the dynamics within an individual country.The colors here represent the different organizations within the country of Bangladesh who participate in IFAD projects. IFAD staff are shown in yellow. The two larger groups (blue on the top and pink at the bottom) are the major implementation organizations in Bangladesh, LGED and PKSF. One group focuses on agricultural projects; the other on infrastructure. There is no great need based on areas of expertise to communicate for people in one to communicate with each other, and there are a few people who have a large number of ties into both groups.Within the analysis, we were also able to look at details of the connections for each of the project directors and also at the interactions within the individual projects.Nigel Brett, the country programme manager for this project, was pleased with seeing the result of the network analysis. The survey data came out very much as he would have predicted, and had no great surprises. We did not find any significant problems of connectivity in the network. N--------------- quotes -----------It came out more or less as I expected and without any major surprises;I could not detect any real problems in the network;I found it interesting that most members of the network (including myself) limit themselves to email and telephone, and do not use wiki's, twitter, or blogs;I was reassured that most members of the network know what other members can offer, and how to contact them;I was happy that members of the network feel comfortable contacting each other and help each other out when asked;I was also not surprised to see the clear split between LGED and PKSF (but was interested to see Nowsher being a connector between the two organizations);Very good to see Hashib right at the centre of the Bangladesh network well connected to everyone.
As we said, we had been interested in the nature of people’s interactions. We tried to get at this a little in the Bangladesh network, and then in the 2010 survey we asked the questions directly, to see what people were interacting about.
This is just one of the examples of the maps we can draw to focus on interactions among people with a specific area of expertise. In this case, people who identified themselves as having expertise in agricultural matters. Note that this map also includes nodes represented by diamonds. These were people who were not listed in the survey, but who requested to take it. We do not have country information for these people, so they are shown with a grey color. You will notice that these interactions are primarily among people from the same country, with a few people who are connecting them. There are also six people with this expertise who are not connected to anyone else.The ties in this map show two levels of interaction: frequent and infrequent. When we looked at the expertise maps we saw a wide range in the density of interactions among people with the same level of expertise. What we found in looking at these is one of the more interesting findings from our study.
These maps show people with expertise in two of our primary cross-cutting topics. The knowledge management group is on the left. Of course it is never a surprise that knowledge management people are likely to be sharing more!We have focused much of the ENRAP program on identifying people who will be the knowledge management focal points in the countries and bringing them in for workshops. This map shows the result of that work. It is a highly connected group.On the right is the map of the people who are specializing their expertise in gender issues. This is a group that has been emerging over the past year or so. You can see that one of the key connectors in this group is an IFAD staff member, who reaches out to the other members of the group. You can imagine how the gender group can evolve to look more densely connected as more work is put into facilitating this thematic group.
The other aspect of the conversations that we looked at is where people focus their conversations with others. This chart shows the result of that analysis. We see that where interactions occur, they are most likely to be on cross-cutting topics.
One of the most important aspects of the ENRAP program has been to try to instill network thinking and network behaviors. So this part of the survey, which we used in both 2008 and 2010 has given us a good indication of the changes in attitudes over time. These are the results of the 2010 survey. The scale is from 1 to 7, where 7 is “strongly agree”.
As you see here, the highest responses were to the questions,I am encouraged to use the network to share knowledgeAndWorking across country boundaries has helped me to do my work more effectively.
So, if we can understand that people WANT to share, then we had to ask what the barriers to sharing currently are. This chart shows the responses to questions. If we first look at the problems that were facing ENRAP at its beginning, problems of language and especially computer access, we see that people do not view these as significant problems in getting in touch with or transferring knowledge to people in other countries.
What we do see as problems that remain to be addressed are these.The most frequent problem stated is that:-- there is no way to find out who has the experience I seekThis is a problem that we can try to solve by looking at various knowledge management solutions. We can continue to bring people together in meetings around thematic areas, so that we can build those communities.[CHASE: Here is for you to say what you might be thinking about this problem]Second, we see that many people are reluctant to initiate a knowledge sharing process because of the time involved.There may be two aspects to that. One is the work culture. Everyone is just too busy, and in the context of the project organizations, there is perhaps no reward for taking the time to do this sharing. The virtuous cycle has not set in.A second aspect is the technology or means to share. Our programs have always focused on the most useful and up to date technology for sharing, but the technology is changing rapidly.
We have blown up a number of the maps from our surveys and posted them in the conference area. We hope that you will take the time to look at these and think about the connectedness of those in your country and your own connectedness as well. Overall, we are pleased with what the analyses from these three surveys has shown us about the cohesiveness of the network and the valuable role that is being played by the country programme managers, the CPOs, and those who are leading emergent thematic networks. These people will help sustain the network over time.But the network is everyone’s responsibility.
We offer just a few questions for you to keep in mind as you look at these diagrams. In a network, anyone in the network has the power to change it. Simply by making a new connection, you can change the dynamics of the structure. It’s up to you.
APR Workshop 2010-Knowledge Networking-Shalini Kala
Knowledge Networking<br />Tracking the Health of the Network<br />
2<br />Topics to Cover<br />Networking<br />Benefits of networks<br />How we analyze networks<br />Who uses network analysis?<br />The IFAD network in APR<br />What we have learned<br />Looking at the maps<br />
3<br />Networking is what you do all the time<br />Meet and connect with people<br />Draw on your connections to help in your work<br />
4<br />Why is Networking Important?<br />Bring skills and knowledge to bear on problems in your countries<br />Find others who have already solved similar problem<br />Make your own work more effective<br />Share what you have learned with others<br />Make their work more effective<br />
Definitions<br />Social network analysis (SNA): An analysis of relationships / flows / influence between people, groups, or organizations <br />Organizational network analysis (ONA): A targeted approach to improving collaboration and network connectivity where they yield greatest benefitsfor an organization or network. (SNA applied to an organisation)<br />
NGOs<br />11<br />A network of international donors supporting various NGOs within a particular country<br />A network of community organisations (formal and informal, modern and traditional) linked by overlapping membership, or by authority relationships.<br />A network of enterprises, lined by their commercial relationships, forming supply chains and networks within a specific industry.<br />A network of donors and NGOs linked by common policy concerns, such as specific objectives within a national poverty reduction strategy<br />A network of events, such as workshops, linked by overlapping sets of participants<br />Source: Rick Davies, http://mande.co.uk/special-issues/network-models/<br />
Tracking the IFAD Network in Asia Pacific<br />What we learned from the mapping exercises<br />
A bit of History…..<br />Pre-2007<br />Tracking through m&e surveys; website usage; email exchange<br />2007 plan for network exercise<br />2008 First regional network mapping <br />2009 Bangladesh Country Mapping <br />2010 Second Regional Mapping <br />14<br />
Where we have come<br />Mongolia<br />Rome<br />China<br />Afghanistan<br />Rome<br />Pakistan<br />Nepal<br />Bhutan<br />Bangladesh<br />India<br />Lao PDR<br />Cambodia<br />Philippines<br />Vietnam<br />Sri Lanka<br />Maldives<br />Kiribati<br />Indonesia<br />Fiji<br />
Network Mapping I<br />Objectives: <br />Baseline the current state of connectedness<br />Understand the extent to which the programme directors were working within and across geographic and cultural boundaries <br />Understand how people communicate and attitudes toward networking<br />16<br />
Network Mapping II<br />Objectives:<br />Look at how the connectedness and attitudes evolved over time<br />Determine the nature of the interactions that individual have with each other<br />Provide insights for transition of knowledge networking programme to IFAD<br />17<br />
Specific questions <br />Are people sharing easily within and across country boundaries?<br />Do people know who might need to know what they are learning?<br />Who are the people who will help sustain the network over time?<br />What are people interacting about?<br />18<br />
Country Maps<br />Bangladesh<br />Cambodia<br /> “I interact with this person at least once every other week.”<br />26<br />
Country Maps<br />China<br />India<br /> “I interact with this person at least once every other week.”<br />27<br />
Country Maps<br />Nepal<br />Pakistan<br /> “I interact with this person at least once every other week.”<br />28<br />
Country Maps<br />Philippines<br />Sri Lanka<br /> “I interact with this person at least once every other week.”<br />29<br />
Country Maps<br />Vietnam<br /> “I interact with this person at least once every other week.”<br />30<br />
One Country: Bangladesh<br />31<br />I interact with this person at least once a month on operational topics.<br />
The nature of interactions<br />In 2010, we sought to understand how people interacted with respect to their areas of expertise<br />And, if the focus of interactions was:<br />Within their own area of expertise<br />On cross-cutting topics<br />On administrative topics<br />On areas outside of their own area of expertise<br />32<br />
Interactions: Agricultural Expertise<br />33<br />I know this person and have had some interaction<br />I interact with this person at least every 2-3 months<br />
Thematic Groups<br />34<br />Knowledge Management<br />Gender Issues<br />I know this person and have at least some interaction with them.<br />
Barriers to Sharing<br />38<br />We are doing well here.<br />
What Can We Improve?<br />39<br />Still need: how to find the right person?<br />
Learning from network mapping<br />CPMs are at the centre of the national networks and recognise the value of networking for information exchange <br />Strong common interest help establish networking groups<br />Facilitation and mechanisms to share lead to dynamic networks<br />Network has been growing and members see it as an important resource<br />40<br />
Learning from network mapping<br />Emails and mobile phones are most popular means of communication<br />Great need to learn from others’ experiences to improve performance<br />Key connectors in the network help knowledge move faster and in variety of directions<br />Interaction between people are needs based<br />41<br />
Your Network<br />A mapping exercise for you to visualise map out your relationships<br />Then share your network maps with others (discussion) <br />Fedback-what did you find interesting?<br />43<br />